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VERSO
Written in the artist’s hand: “The War Bonnet Maker - Firelight & Daylight. This bonnet picked up on the Custer Field next day by Crow Indians - red feather denote enemies killed in honorary battle. Bonnet now in Gilcrease [collection], Tulsa.”

According to Sharp biographer Forrest Fenn, “In the summer of 1899, Henry and Addie Sharp were at Crow Agency, Montana. According to the official census of 1890, the town proper had a population of over one hundred people, mostly government employees, and a population in the surrounding area of 2,287 Crow Indians. Sharp specifically chose Crow Agency as his summer home for two reasons: he was fascinated by the history and culture of the Crow, and Crow Agency was located very close to the battleground where Custer had fought for the last time.

“Now, twenty-three years after that event, Sharp often wandered the hills around the Custer Battlefield.... He took many photographs of a landscape devoid of almost everything but sagebrush and a variety of hardy grasses.... One photograph showing the Little Big Horn River in the background and labeled by Sharp, ‘On the Custer Battlefield,’ shows crude wooden coffins on top of the ground or half buried, with sunbleached bones and revered Indian possessions scattered about in disarray.”

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