A Mandan Red Indian Chief, Rocky Mountains, North America

Dennis Melling

Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania

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Artist's Description

My vector drawing of a Mandan Red Indian Chief using Inkscape and Gimp (no auto trace) and based on the Chief “Mató-Tope” illustration by Karl Bodmer.

The background is a digital painting using Whistler’s Rainbow in DAP of a View of the Rocky Mountains: aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book “Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834”. Original PD copy of aquatint from oldbookart.

We all know that 1492 is the correct date of Columbus’s discovery of America but, actually it had been discovered thousands of years before by the people we call American Indians. By 1492 they occupied North America from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

The earliest ancestors of the peoples of the Americas came from Eurasia over a land bridge which connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait during a period of glaciation. The number and nature of these migrations is uncertain but the land bridge is believed to have existed only until about 12,000 years ago and so, after this time, crossings could only be made when the Bering straight was frozen over.

The Vikings had settlements in North America as early as the 10th century CE and called the indigenous peoples ‘Skrælings’.

The frozen Strait is still crossed on foot and In March 2006, Briton Karl Bushby and French-American adventurer Dimitri Kieffer crossed the strait on foot, walking across a frozen 90 km (56 mi) section in 15 days. They were soon arrested for not entering Russia through a border control.

August 2008 marked the first crossing of the Bering Strait using a road-going vehicle. The specially modified Land Rover Defender 110 was driven by Steve Burgess and Dan Evans across the straits on its second attempt following the interruption of the first by bad weather.

Artwork Comments

  • Dennis Melling
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  • Dennis Melling
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  • Dennis Melling
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