On old ledger paintings there were glyphs above some of the people's heads that was a representation of their names. In this painting by Michael Horse, the man on the left is Lightening Thunder, and the man on the right is Medicine Bear.
Document: Hugo Indian Territory Trading Post, 1902, Security First National Bank check
Document size: 3” H x 8.25” W This painting is unframed
While on film sets as an actor, Michael Horse began creating ledger paintings. Ledger painting is a traditional Native American folk art that came out of the reservation era in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Michael Horse's ledger paintings are all on antique documents from the 1800s to early 1900s.
Prior to that time, events such as battles and calendars were depicted on hides using traditional paints. When people were removed from their traditional territories and put on reservations they were not allowed weapons of any kind, so no hides. When people no longer had access to the hides they would find any type of paper and implement to write or draw with to record what was happening prior to being on the reservation, or what life was like being on the reservation.