Very little is known about Walter Bone Shirt other than that he was a Brulé Lakota artist and his Indian name was Never Misses. He is generally referred to in the ethnographic literature as Walter Bone Shirt, though census records indicate he was called Junior Bone Shirt. A few other examples of his ledger art are known to exist in private holdings and this collection of drawings has been attributed to him based on artistic similarities.
There is no written documentation about the origin of this particular ledger, but it is likely that John S. Parke acquired the ledger while serving as Assistant Adjutant General of Command at Rosebud Agency during the winter of 1890-1891. A 1938 note, written on envelope bearing the name Mrs. John S. Parke, and given to the University along with the ledger, refers to 'interesting set of coloured pictures (in crayon?) made by an Indian at Rosebud Indian Agency during Sioux Campaign in 1890.’ It is unclear who wrote the note or why. In 1962, this ledger book of ‘original Indian sketches’ was presented by John S. Parke’s daughter, Mrs. Ferdinand [Genevieve] Prochnow, to the Montana State University Library (now the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at The University of Montana-Missoula) through the Friends of the Library. Mrs. Prochnow was living in Missoula at the time.
The cloth bound ledger contains eighteen drawings, many depicting what may be ceremonial dress or dream scenes.
Other Descriptive Information
To insure that the content of the ledger is appropriate for access and display, library personnel consulted with individuals in The University of Montana's Native American Studies and Anthropology Departments, and with experts at the Smithsonian and at the Sicangu Cultural Heritage Center on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Descriptions in this finding aid have been drawn from appraisal documents and are intended to facilitate discovery but are not guaranteed to be exact or perfect representations of ledger images.
Alternative Forms Available :
Prints from digital images and online digital images of ledger pages are available for access.Restrictions on Access :
Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana-Missoula. Because of very fragile nature of ledger, image reproductions will be provided to researchers.Restrictions on Use :
Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes.Preferred Citation :
[Image number], Walter Bone Shirt Ledger, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.
Custodial History :
The ledger was likely gifted to John S. Parke. His daughter, Genevieve Prochnow, gave the ledger to the University of Montana Library in 1962.Acquisition Information :
Gift of Genevieve Prochnow, 1962.Processing Note :
Digital images of the ledger pages were taken in order to make the material more widely accessible and minimize the need to access the very fragile original ledger.
Detailed Description of the Collection
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.