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Home> Catalogue > January 2011



Crow Indian with Peace Pipe
by James Bama

James Bama met Henry Bright Wings during a medicine ceremony performed in the tepee of a Crow medicine man in Wyola, Montana. He was then 68. Bama liked his classic face, which he thought would have been appropriate on a buffalo nickel. When Bright Wings visited Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming several years later, Bama dressed him in historical costume including a pre-1900 headdress and a very old buffalo robe from the Old Trail Town Museum in Cody.

In earlier times the right to wear a headdress had to be earned, usually in battle. Today even women and children sometimes wear a showy nontraditional war bonnet for pow-wow dance parades and celebrations. Many men feel that their age is entitlement enough, but others will not wear a headdress because they do not consider it their proper. Bama met a Pine Ridge Reservation Indian who would not pose in a headdress even though he was 45 years old and certainly looked venerable enough.

During the Indian Wars of the post-Civil War years, Bright Wings’ people, the Crows, frequently allied themselves with the military against such traditional enemies as the Sioux and the Cheyenne. Crow scouts rode to their deaths with Custer.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
limited to 75 s/n.
21"w x 17"h.
$595

 



The Pawnee
by James Bama

James Bama has derived a great deal of joy from the friendships he has developed with many of the Native American subjects of his portraits. Years ago, he discovered that on a personal level, they are often very different from the confrontational image they often project. For example, Wes Studi, a full-blooded Cherokee, established an impressive screen-acting career with his intense portrayals of a Pawnee war-party leader in "Dances with Wolves" and as the vengeful Magua in "The Last of the Mohicans," yet Bama found him genial and obliging. During their visits to the Bama home, Studi and his children often spent happy hours playing basketball with the artist and his son. The cultural gap was bridgedas two fathers enjoyed time with their children.

Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Giclée Canvas:
limited to 125 s/n.
15"w x 19"h.
$545

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