Skip Navigation

Horse Nation

Linda Haukaas

Arts of the Americas

In this drawing each Lakota woman wears elaborate regalia and carries a fan and a pouch, items used to decorate and honor horses. Warriors and horses in battle are depicted on their clothing. According to the artist, Horse Nation “honors ‘tasunka wakan’ (the horse) for its importance for the Lakota People. The horse allowed them to increase their mobility for hunting, expand their territory, strengthen their ‘akicita’ (protective warrior societies), improve their economy, relieve their burdens, and, most importantly, gave women someone else to love.”
MEDIUM Colored pencil and ink on late 1916 ledger paper
DATES 2010
DIMENSIONS each sheet: 11 1/2 x 17 5/8 in. (29.2 x 44.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS (Old paper page title Citizens Nat'l Bank entry dated 1916) pg 183 on horses facing right; pg. 196 on horses facing left.
SIGNATURE Left side along red paper line, Horse Nation, Linda Haukaas
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Gift of the artist
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This complimentary pair of drawings depicts horses galloping across the background-facing opposite directions on each drawing, with four women with their backs to the viewer watching the horses. Each woman wears elaborate regalia and carries fans and pouches, the type of decorations used to decorate and honor horses. The details on each of their clothing depict warriors and horses in battle .To paraphrase the artist: The purpose of the drawings, "Horse Nation," is to honor 'tasunka wakan,' the horse, for its importance for the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Oyate, the People. The horse allowed them to increase their mobility for travel and hunting, expand their territory, advance their 'akicita' (warrior societies that protect them), improve their economy, relieve their burdens and,as Linda indicates "most importantly gave women someone else to love." Linda Haukaas recreates 19th century style ledger art within a modern context with themes that particularly highlight women's roles in Plains society and with ceremonial and daily scenes that resonate today. She researches Museum collections and her own history to authenticate the historical references. Since in the past such representative drawings would have been done solely by the male artist she has broken new boundaries as a female ledger artist.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Linda Haukaas (Sicangu Lakota, born 1957). Horse Nation, 2010. Colored pencil and ink on late 1916 ledger paper, each sheet: 11 1/2 x 17 5/8 in. (29.2 x 44.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 2011.6a-b. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2011.6a_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE component, 2011.6a_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email and we will assist if we can.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.