Sharron Ahtone Harjo (Kiowa)
Ahtone Harjo has relatively few ledger drawings to preserve historical tribal events, sacred traditions, and the Ahtone family history. “As a full-blood Kiowa,” she tells us, “I feel an obligation to illustrate those things that are peculiar to the Kiowa women in our roles as historical recorders.”
Return Them Safely to Home
Return them Safely to Home focuses on the return of the trophy lance, celebrated in the Kiowa Gourd Dance, a traditional Kiowa ceremony, performed by the Gourd Society in midsummer. The Gourd Dance was originally called Tian-Paye (Tiah-Pah), after the battlefield, covered with red-flowering skunkberry bushes, where the Kiowas fought against the Cheyennes and the Arapahos. According to legend, the skunkberry leaves also turned red during the four-day battle—and Tian-Paye became a symbol of survival.