a Cheyenne description of the Battle of the Greasy Grass (Little Bighorn), which translates to, “As fast as a (hungry) man eats, that’s how quickly we killed all of them” (in reference to US troops). today is the 138th anniversary of this battle, where the Cheyenne, Lakota, & Arapaho triumphed over Custer and the might of the US military.
the Battle of the Greasy Grass, for Cheyennes, was part of a response to the Sand Creek and Washita massacres; Sand Creek occurred 4 years prior, and Washita just a few months before the battle. in both cases, villages full of peaceful Southern Cheyennes were attacked in their sleep, and with no warning. the brutality at both massacres was horrible—Southern Cheyenne historian John Sipes wrote the following on them, “Black Kettle had no wolves (scouts) out to guard the sleeping village and the sleeping village was unaware of the attack and slaughter of the people that was to happen…What followed was a massacre of the people from the pregnant Cheyenne women being cut open at the womb and babies left on the frozed ground dead with their mothers. Women, children and elders alike were shot down as at a turkey shoot…Thus this needless massacre just four years almost to the date later from the Sand Creek Massacre and to the very same bands and families nearly wiped out this extended kinships of families that had survived the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 in southeastern Colorado.” at both massacres, US troops raped and tortured women, and picked the killing fields clean for souvenirs (moccasins, clothing, and body parts) that they later sold to the general public as trinkets.
some of the women that were survivors of these massacres played major roles in later Indian Wars battles, like Mochi, one of the only Southern Cheyenne women to ride in a men’s warrior society. a week prior to the Battle of the Greasy Grass, the Cheyenne woman Buffalo Calf Road Woman was instrumental in the Cheyenne-Lakota victory in the Battle Where the Girl Saved Her Brother (Rosebud). she also rode in the Battle of the Greasy Grass, alongside her brother and husband, and was the one to knock Custer off his horse and kill him. other women who fought in the Battle of the Greasy Grass include Minnie Hollow Wood, Moving Robe Woman, One Who Walks with the Stars, & Kate Bighead.
during the Washita Massacre, Custer instructed his troops to use Cheyenne women and children as human shields, to force Cheyennes to surrender. he also commanded them to take women and children as prisoners of war (they took over 50). the strategic violence against women and children was unacceptable, and that’s why the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota rode against Custer 138 years ago today. as Custer lay dying on the battlefield, woman warriors stabbed in the ears with their sewing awls, promising him that he will have to hear all the voices of the women and children he tortured and slaughtered in the afterlife.
Moon Saturn Occultation - 14 May 2014, captured 20 km north of Albury, New South Wales in Australia by space enthusiast and photographer Colin Legg. Occultation happens when “one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer.” From Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait:
I suspect a lot of people will be amazed at how big the Moon looks compared to Saturn, but I had the opposite experience! I’m used to the Moon looking big in my telescope, and Saturn small(ish). Seeing them right next to each other is a stark reminder of just how whopping huge Saturn is. It was more than 1.3 billion kilometers away during this event, while the Moon was only 380,000 km distant!
Put it this way: Saturn was over 3000 times farther away than the Moon at the time. Like I said: Saturn is big.
Contemporary Art Week!
Leo and Diane Dillon
Leo and Diane Dillon were one of the greatest illustration teams in the history of Fantasy Art. Books that have used their illustrations for cover or inside art include an edition of the Narnia books, Garth Nix’s Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, Her Stories and The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton, The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin, Aida by Leontyne Price, The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese by Howard A. Norman, and many, many more.
There is a blog dedicated to archiving their work here.