Visual Literacy

1. Firstly, it is important that Howling Wolf’s picture is more abstract than the one, which was drawn by the white artist. He represented the Treaty Signing at Medicine Lodge Creek from the point of view of a Native American, and, therefore, depicted not only Indians and Americans, who are obviously different and separated from each other, but the entire world around: Indian lodges, the nature, namely, the waterways, which are connected together, the trees and bushes (Sayre, 2007). Regarding the landscape of the image it is essential to point out that Wolf’s drawing has no central focus –  the trees, bushes are quite primitive and do not attract  the viewers’ attention. One more thing is that he represented numerous details in his pictures: women’s braided hair, different symbols on the lodges representing different tribes (Sayre, 2007). Furthermore, the approach of Howling Wolf is more childlike, and people often perceive such childish and bright pictures drawn with pencils and crayons as more sincere than those, which are more serious and professional.

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2. The depiction or ignoring of the women in the two images is more likely to be intentional and deliberate (Sayre, 2007). This detail reflects a female position in the white society and in the Indian one. According to the historical facts, American women were not equal to man and did not have any rights in the government and, consequently, no right to participate in making decisions about Treaty Signing at Medicine Lodge Creek or any other agreements. However, in the Indian tribes the situation was obviously different. The presence of female figures in the drawing made by Howling Wolf proves that women’s opinions and decisions were valued and they were present at the meetings or at least that Indians respected them and treated as equal (Sayre, 2007). Consequently, Taylor did not consider the role of women as significant, whereas in Howling Wolf’s picture the Indian people are represented as women. 

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