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Reading Plains Indian Biographic Rock Art
James D. Keyser and David A. Kaiser
502 pages, 331 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-974-1 $199.00/£148.00 / Hb / Published (May 2023)
eISBN 978-1-80073-975-8 eBook
“Keyser and Kaiser’s book compiles widespread Biographic rock art information into one source in a form that is easily useable. This is an significant reference for the field of rock art research, and it is an important document for educating the greater public that rock art can be deciphered and understood today…” • Mavis Greer, Greer Archaeology
Plains Indian biographic rock art can be “read” by those knowledgeable in its lexicon. Presented is a lexicon of imagery, conventions, and symbols used by Plains Indians to communicate their warfare and social narratives. The reader is introduced to Plains Indian “warrior” art in all media, biographic art as picture writing is explained, and the lexicon is described, providing a pictographic “dictionary,” and explains conventions and connotations. Finally, it illustrates four key examples of how these narratives are read by the observer. Familiarity with the lexicon will enable interested scholars and laypersons to understand what are otherwise enigmatic rock art drawings found from Calgary, Alberta through ten U.S. states, and into the Mexican state of Coahuila.
James D. Keyser earned his PhD from the University of Oregon. He has conducted rock art research across western North America and has authored more than 200 rock art publications including seven books. Among these are Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau, The Five Crows Ledger: Warrior Art of the Flathead Indians, and Art of the Warriors: Rock Art of the American Plains. He taught anthropology at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Tulsa before retiring from the U.S. Forest Service. He splits his time between homes in Oregon and Italy.
David Kaiser has documented and researched the rock art of the Plains and Pacific Northwest for over twenty years. He is a former president of the Oregon Archaeological Society and a current Board member of the American Rock Art Research Association, recently winning their Wellmann Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Rock Art Research. He has authored and co-authored more than thirty publications including monographs, book chapters, and articles in national and regional journals.
Area: North America
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