War Paintings of the Tsuu T'ina Nation


War Paintings of the Tsuu T'ina Nation

Arni Brownstone

Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians Series

160 pages
61 color plates, 49 color figures


June 2015


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

During much of the nineteenth century, paintings functioned as the Plains Indians’ equivalent to written records. The majority of their paintings documented warfare, focusing on specific war deeds. These pictorial narratives—appearing on hide robes, war shirts, tipi liners, and tipi covers—were maintained by the several dozen Plains Indians tribes, and they continue to expand historical knowledge of a people and place in transition.

War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation is a study of several important war paintings and artifact collections of the Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee) that provides insight into the changing relations between the Tsuu T’ina, other plains tribes, and non-Native communities during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Arni Brownstone has meticulously created renderings of the paintings that invite readers to explore them more fully. All known Tsuu T’ina paintings are considered in the study, as are several important collections of Tsuu T’ina artifacts, with particular emphasis on five key works. Brownstone’s analysis furthers our understanding of Tsuu T’ina pictographic war paintings in relation to the social, historical, and artistic forces that influenced them and provides a broader understanding of pictographic painting, one of the richest and most important Native American artistic and literary genres.

Author Bio

Arni Brownstone is the assistant curator of world cultures at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. He is the author of War Paint: Blackfoot and Sarcee Painted Buffalo Robes in the Royal Ontario Museum.



"Arni Brownstone's study of Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee) war paintings is a valuable addition to scholarship on the artistic traditions of the peoples of the North American Plains."—Alison K. Brown, Museum Anthropology Review

"War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation is one of those books that anyone interested in the history of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains hopes comes along, perhaps without even knowing it."—Rob Alexander, Rocky Mountain Outlook

“Brownstone’s meticulous study makes available a unique set of little-known hide paintings and offers valuable insights into one of the less studied indigenous societies of the Great Plains. A must for every library on Native North American art and culture.”—Janet Catherine Berlo, professor of visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester and author of Spirit Beings and Sun Dancers: Black Hawk's Vision of the Lakota World

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Historical Background
Plains Indian Warfare
War Exploit Painting
History of the Five Tsuu T’ina Paintings
Discussion of the Five Paintings
Pictographic Translations
Later Tsuu T’ina Paintings
Tsuu T’ina Material Culture Collections

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