Digging in at Sappa Creek
by Howard Terpning
Image size: 32" x 26 5/8"
Edition size: 650 signed and numbered
Sappa Creek in northwestern Kansas is symbolic to me of all the desperate stands that took place between the Cheyenne people and the Cavalry during the Cheyenne's escape from Indian territory in 1878. With the dust of the cavalry in the distance, the women joined the men in frantically digging rifle pits with belt axes, butcher knives and anything else they could find to scratch depressions in the soil.
They were attempting to reach their homeland in the Yellowstone country some 1500 miles away. Many had to travel on foot because they had so few horses. Yet in less than one month, they covered 600 miles while engaging in countless battles with the Army. Many of them cut their hair short in mourning for the loved ones that they lost along the way. Out of the original 300 Indians who started from Oklahoma, only a few reached their final destination.
This painting is dedicated to the Cheyenne people for their courage and strength and their beief that they had the right to live in the country where their ancestors were buried.
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