Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gall/Pizi

In the picture I posted yesterday, you might notice a poster on the door beside me. That's what happens when you live in an 800 sf house and you have a lot of art; you run out of walls and start putting things on the doors and ceilings.

It's a poster I did back in 1992 for my friend/bandmate Brad Massengill who was part of or was allied with - he'll correct me on all this, I'm sure - the 100th Monkey Project.

It's one of my favorite posters that I've done, even though it doesn't really work too well as a poster; it's too intricate. Here's a detail from the lower left border...

See the monkeys? and the mushroom clouds? and little nuke symbols? Yep, you have to be pretty damn close up to this poster to see all this stuff, which is why I think it doesn't work so well as a poster.

Gall (Pizi in Lakota) was a war chief at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. He was in the area attacked by Major Reno. His two wives and several of his children were killed. "My heart was very bad that day," he said.

After the battle, many of the Indians fled to Canada and didn't come back for four or five years. Gall surrendered to the US government in 1881, and settled on what became the Standing Rock Reservation. He became a Christian and a man of peace. He turned away from the Ghost Dance movement, which Sitting Bull had become involved in. This is all much more complicated than I can tell here, but the Indian Agents were terrified of the Ghost Dancers and orders were sent out to arrest Sitting Bull. A shoot out followed and he was killed, along with seven of his followers. Other Ghost Dancers, led by Big Foot, fled through the snow to Wounded Knee Creek, on the Pine Ridge Res where they were massacred by US troops.

Why was the government so spooked by the Ghost Dance movement? Who knows... It's just one of those things that seem to inflame people. Valentine McGillycuddy (how's THAT for a name), a one-time Indian Agent on the Standing Rock Res, said "The "The coming of the troops has frightened the Indians. If the Seventh-Day Adventists prepare ascension robes for the Second Coming of the Savior, the Unites States Army is not put in motion to prevent them. Why should not the Indians have the same privilege? If the troops remain, trouble is sure to come." 

1 comment:

Serena said...

Wonderful poster! I always feel sad when I read of how the Indians were treated....forced to take on the white man's beliefs, punished for speaking their native tongue, families separated and so many massacred. Similar things happened here in Australia with the Aboriginals. :(