Counter Narrating the Master Narrative: Historical and Contemporary Ledger Art

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Native Americans continue to face stereotypes that were created and cemented in the past by the master narrative of the US. Through the medium of paintings and photographs, the dominant culture labeled Native Americans a “vanishing race.” These early works shaped public opinion and were used as propaganda to affirm the settlers will: first to eradicate, then to assimilate the Indigenous population. As a response, historical and contemporary ledger artists have provided a counter-narrative, addressing the misconceptions and reclaiming their cultural history and identity by using pictographic ledger drawings to invalidate colonial ideologies and practices. Both the historical and contemporary ledger drawings exemplify the presence of survival, resilience, and continuity as they go against the stereotypical representation of Native Americans. They transgress the master narrative and its stereotypes by reclaiming Indigenous identity and place in colonial narratives.
Native American, Art, Native American art, Ledger drawing, Ledger art, Master narrative, Counter-narrative