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Autumn - Four Season's/Four Sisters

Ledger Art Prints 2015-2017

Autumn - Four Season's/Four Sisters

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Autumn - Four Season's/Four Sisters


Autumn - Four Seasons – The Four Sisters
Mixed Media : Ledger Paper, Acrylic, Ink
Dimensions: 11”x17”

By: Joanne Seesequasis
Eastern Shoshone

Along time ago, way back before we were put on reservations when the creator made mother earth there lived four sisters on Earth. Each sister was different, but they were sisters, daughters of the creator and they loved and respected each other for their differences. Each sister had a different appearance, name and personality.
Spring, the youngest of the four, had an appearance of lively pastel colors; her touch gave everything around her life and joy. Next, summer was the fierce one. Her appearance was bright yellow like the sun, the perfect representation of fire and heat. Everything in her path was devoured by fire and the surroundings were heated up. Autumn, or Fall, the calm one was always there to sooth the temper of Summer. She had a calm appearance, colors of brown and orange, colors of peace. Like a mother, autumn would put the world to sleep and gave the feeling of safety. Finally, the cold-blooded one, her appearance was covered with frost and spikes, her words spoken of death and winter. With her pale blue and white colors, the world was afraid of her because she had the looks of death and coldness.

Yet, there was a disagreement amongst the sister, there was only one mother earth and they each wanted to rule it. Their father, the creator forgot about this fact and left the four to rule the same planet. For every rotation around the sun, there was approximately 12 months. Soon after debate, each sister decided to rule for 12 months before the other one was up.

First, Summer, being the biggest, ruled the planet at first. She walked amongst the planet and began heatng it up. Soon, the world was a ball of fire and everything was yellow and red, and eventually everything was being burnt up as a result of her fire. Just before she would cook up the animals and plants, it was just in time for Autumn to go next, for she was the second oldest of the four. The next set of 12 months was the time for the Earth to revive, for the Earth to rest. Autumn soon put the world to sleep and it soon began to heal. All of the animals soon fell into deep slumber. But, the great period of rest was soon about to end.

Being so calm and ready, winter was prepared for her reign. The world soon fell into great horror and a deep sleep while the world began to transform into a giant ice ball. Wherever winter walked, the plants and animals froze up and there was no place where running water was available. The rest of the animals hid beneath Earth and waited for the reign of winter to end.

Soon, by the end of winters painful 12 months, it was spring’s time to control. Quickly, she tried her best to melt the ice and brought all of the plants to life, with much effort, she succeeded. The sun shone brightly and flowers bloomed beneath her feet. Everyone was happy and they soon all celebrated the reign of spring.
Each of the sisters began to realize that they didn’t want to wait any longer to control the seasons, because 3 years was just too long to wait for each of them. They all had an argument and war almost broke out between winter and summer. Then eventually, creator came down with a solution for their problem. The creator divided the 12 months into 4 equal parts, so each of the sisters could take their share within each year.

Spring got to go first because she was happy and creator loved her the most. Soon summer got to go next because spring didn’t have the ability to heat the world up for very long. So summer begin her reign to heat the world and grow the plants and animals to maturity. Just before summer burnt up mother earth, autumn was there to take over and sooth summer’s angry heat. With autumn’s ability, she would then calm the world and let it rest. Finally, winter was the last to reign.
As time passed, they all adapted to this schedule and mother earth accepted their existence. Today the four seasons sisters still reign and take their turn controlling the seasons.

Ledger Art History
This genre, often called Ledger Art, represents a transitional form of Plains Indian artistry corresponding to the forced reduction of Plains tribes to government reservations, roughly between 1860 and 1900. Due to the destruction of the buffalo herds and other game animals of the Great Plains by Anglo-Americans during and after the Civil War, painting on buffalo hide gave way to works on paper, muslin, canvas, and occasionally commercially prepared cow or buffalo hides.

Changes in the content of pictographic art, the rapid adjustment of Plains artists to the relatively small size of a sheet of ledger paper, and the wealth of detail possible with new coloring materials, marks Plains ledger drawings as a new form of Native American art. As such, ledger painting portrays a transitional expression of art and material culture that links traditional (pre-reservation) Plains painting to the Plains and Pueblo Indian painting styles that emerged during the 1920s in Indian schools in Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Beginning in the early 1860s, Plains Indian men adapted their representational style of painting to paper in the form of accountants ledger books. Traditional paints and bone and stick brushes used to paint on hide gave way to new implements such as colored pencils, crayon, and occasionally water color paints. Plains artists acquired paper and new drawing materials in trade, or as booty after a military engagement, or from a raid. Initially, the content of ledger drawings continued the tradition of depicting of military exploits and important acts of personal heroism already established in representational painting on buffalo hides and animal skins. As the US government implemented the forced relocation of the Plains peoples to reservations, for all practical purposes completed by the end of the 1870s, Plains artists added scenes of ceremony and daily life from before the reservation to the repertoire of their artwork, reflecting the social and cultural changes brought by life on the reservation within the larger context of forced assimilation.


All content including the presentation thereof on this web site is the property of Joanne Seesequasis and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, modify, create derivative works, or in any other way exploit any part of copyrighted material without the prior written permission from Joanne Seesequasis.


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