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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 6, 2008

Oct. 11 Saturday Scholars event explores artwork of imprisoned Native Americans

Kiowa men who were imprisoned in the late 1800s for refusing to participate in the reservation system created sketches that serve as windows into their humanity and social values.

Their work is the topic of an upcoming presentation by Jacki Rand, history scholar at the University of Iowa. Rand will speak at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 in Room 40 of Schaeffer Hall, the southeast building on the UI Pentacrest.

The free, public lecture, "The Kiowa Ledger Artist: Insight into a Special Culture," is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) as part of its Saturday Scholars series, which marks its 10th anniversary this year. It will last about an hour, and refreshments will be served.

Rand is the author of the recently published book, "Kiowa Humanity and the Invasion of the State," which examines the history of a Southern Plains people in the last quarter of the 19th century. Between 1867 and 1910, the Kiowas signed a treaty that established the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache reservation. Through the last quarter of the 19th century, they lost much of that land through the federal policy of allotment.

"Kiowa women and young men positioned themselves throughout the chaotic period as laborers, suppliers of food and preservers of Kiowa social values," Rand said. "They were the cement of a colonized and declining economy adapting established Kiowa practices to radically changing circumstances."

Rand will discuss a part of her book that focuses on the activities of young Kiowa men from 1867 to 1878 when some, who refused the reservation system for eight years, were imprisoned at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Fla. They later gained recognition for pencil-and-paper drawings they produced in prison.

"The Kiowas' story challenged the American Indian civilization program, which was presented as a sign of the country's progress and expansion," Rand said. "The men were demonized as savage in the press and by the U.S. government, but contested a history that refused to acknowledge inhumane internal colonialism."

Rand joined the UI faculty in 1998 and is the author of numerous papers on Native American history. She previously worked for the Smithsonian Institution and planned consultations between the National Museum of the American Indian staff and associates and Native community members throughout the United States.

The remaining events in the Saturday Scholars series are:

Saturday, Oct. 18: "Photography and Place: New York Narratives," Margaret Stratton, School of Art and Art History, 10 a.m., Room 40, Schaeffer Hall

Saturday, Oct. 25: "Chemicals from Nature: Toxins to Treatments," Jim Gloer, Department of Chemistry, 10 a.m., Room 40, Schaeffer Hall

Saturday, Nov. 1: "Medicine vs. the Media," Julie Andsager, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 10 a.m., Room 40, Schaeffer Hall

Saturday, Nov. 15: "New Iowa Writers: Readings by Students," Jae Choi, Iowa Writers' Workshop; Hali Felt, Nonfiction Writing Program; Gabriel Houck, Nonfiction Writing Program; Ted Thompson, Iowa Writers' Workshop, 10 a.m., Room 40, Schaeffer Hall

Saturday Scholars was developed to give the public a chance to hear about the latest teaching and research innovations by faculty members in the college. For additional information, visit

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the CLAS in advance at 319-335-2610.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070 (office), 319-430-6576 (cell),; Carla Carr, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 319-335-2818,