Jane Stanfel Capturing Forever


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Watercolors

Billings Area

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The Sacred Tobacco Ceremony
Oil on Barnwood 15" x 23.5"

The Crow Reservation
Native Americans are the original ranchers and cowboys of the west. Their crops were the native plants found in abundance and which the girls and women harvested. Their livestock were the buffalo which the men killed by ambushing the beasts into a jump, where they were killed with rather small arrowheads. The bladders were cleaned and used by the woman to carry water, the tongue and hump were a delicacy enjoyed by all, the hides were prepared by the women for use as tents and clothing, and as much of the meat as they could carry and eat was taken san smoked while the rest was left for the coyotes and wolves. Our ranch actually has a buffalo hump, and buffalo teeth surface every year. We have been told by old residents that if we dig deep we shall find whole skulls and arrowheads. In the direct a short distance from the jump there are still the stories and indentations of a teepee ring.

The tobacco plant is sacred to the Crown Nation, for it is a gift from the Creator.  Tobacco is an offering, a sacrificial blessing, and this ceremony depicts the finding of the wild tobacco plant.  A leader told his son, No Intestines, to go find a certain Sacred Tobacco Plant and his people would prosper.  This exodus established the great Apsaalooke (Crow) Nation.  Many hardships were endured as the people migrated into Canada, the southwest, then the Canadian River, to Chief Mountain in Glacier National Park, and south to the Big Horn Mountains.  Near the present site of Story, Wyoming, the plant was found.  No Intestines had died, but his son initiated the first Sacred Tobacco Society by spiritually adopting his own son.  The song sung at that ceremony is still used today, and the Ceremony is full of symbolism showing the rejuvenating of the people and is a ritual of adoption.  The drum is used only for this ceremony, the duck is significant, for the Creator told the birds to go into water and bring mud, and the head piece has exactly 48 pigeon feathers.

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Harvestors 
Oil on Barnwood 15" x 20.5"

The Crow Reservations
Farming, as known today, was not traditionally practiced by Native Americans.  Wild crops were harvested, nothing sown and planted.  It was the duty of the women and girls to harvest the necessary wild foods such as sweet sage, bear root, wild turnips, and choke cherry berries.

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Ranching Nature's Herd
Oil on Barnwood, 3-dimensional, 23.5" x 20"

The Crow Reservation
Ranching, as known today, was unthinkable to the Native Americans.  Animals were wild and were slaughtered only when needed by the tribe for food, skins, and bladders for holding water.  The men would track and kill the buffalo, while the women’s job was to process the meat and hides.  To use the skin the woman had tediously to  scrape all the scraps of meat from the hide before processing ever began.

 

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The Sweat Lodge on the Little Bighorn
Oil on Barnwood 20.75" x 16"

The Crow Reservation
A sweat lodge is used to this day for medicinal and spiritual purposes, rather a re-birth or purification ceremony.  The lodge is made of twelve hides with the floor covered in sweet sage.  The owner of the lodge invites those he wishes.  The right to pour water is an honor earned and given by a relative or bought. Between the rocks and the fire pit is a symbolic umbilical cord which is not to be crossed.  Using a pitchfork the owner transports the rocks inside, and when placed in the lodge the pourer closes the door and pours water on top of the stones to fill the lodge with steam.  The owner offers bear root to the rocks with short prayers.  The guests, nude and seated, smudge themselves with the smoke and switch themselves with sticks. They stay within the sweat lodge until they feel cleansed.  Then they exit and drink water, usually from a creek, to cool themselves,  before returning to repeat the ceremony.  This they do four times. After the men have been rejuvenated, it is the women’s turn.

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Price: US $1000
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Sheriff Bear Claw
Oil on Barnwood 6.5" x 24.5"

The Crow Reservation
Once the Crow Nation signed the treaty to give them the land they desired, the Federal Government wanted Chief Plenty Coups to appoint the first native police officer. Bear Claw was the one honored, and he proudly discharged his duties. After his death his badge was lost, and years later it was discovered in Texas.

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Shikaakaate
Oil on Barnwood 15" x 34"

The Crow Reservation
Shikaakkaate, a member of the Greasy Mouth Clane and a child of the Big Lodge Clan, is a nickname in the Crow Apsaalooke language for Albert L. Gros-Ventre, Jr. His actual Indian name, Illapichilkaashe, which means sharp-shooter, was given to him by his Great-Great Grandfather, the late William Gros-Ventre who was a World War II veteran.

Shikaakkaate is dressed in traditional Crow Hot Dance regalia. Throughout the plains, the Crows were distinct in their style of dress. The head piece, known as a roach, is made of porcupine hair and deer tail with two eagle feathers standing on top. The male dancers of the Crow wear matching aprons and breech cloths, choker, breast plate, armbands, cuffs, mirror case, belt, buckle and footwear. Most of the beadwork is matching also. The side bells along with angora and ankle bells, run from the hip belt to the ankles. Some of the male dancers carry a dancing stick that's also a whistle or just carry a decorated dancing stick. They may even carry a fan as well.

The ceremonial dance is to tell Mother Earth that they enjoy being alive and well. Therefore, the men and boys must dance by kicking the ground and make noise by singing and beating a drum.

According to Crow tradition, when a male dancer is ready to take the floor for the first time, he is escorted by an accomplished dancer or someone selected by the family. Together they dance to a personal or family song. Once the dancer has made one complete revolution on the floor, the family will honor him with a giveaway to Clan Fathers and Clan Mothers. After this is complete, he is allowed to go to the dancing floor anytime he wishes. Shikaakkaate wasn't even a year old when he was taken to the floor to perform his first dance to his Great-Great Grandfather's song Harry Beads Don't Mix. It was sung by the Night Hawk Singers of the Valley of the Chiefs, Lodge Grass.

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A Champion Cutter in Her Eighties
Oil on Barnwood 22" x 25"

Kramer Horse Ranch
Bobby Brooks Kraemer grew up on a ranch, the daughter of the Prairie County sheriff. In 1943 she married Bud Kramer while he was in the Army. Upon his return they built one of the greatest horse ranches in the nation. Bobby spent most of her life taming wild horses, riding competitively, breeding world class champion horses, and instructing and encouraging many to ride.

Failed homesteaders in the 30's released their horses into the wild when they moved on. The new owners of the land sold these wild horses, which were consuming the grasses needed by their cattle, to Bud and Bobby. They captured 10,000 head of wild horses each year, breaking them, and selling them as riding or draft horses. Under their Hanging A Diamond brand they developed award-winning quarter and cutting horses. In 1964 Bobby received her pilot's license so she could round up wild horses more easily, and she then competed in and won air races. In 1968, Gary Crowder joined them, and they started the Kramer Crowder Horse Ranch outside of Billings.

Her lifetime accomplishments are phenomenal. When she was 76 Bobby was one of two women among 44 drovers to ride the Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive. She has won countless awards for the horses she raised and trained including AQHA Grand Championships; Register of Merits; AQHA Champions; MQHA Hi-Point, and NCHA Certificates of Ability; Carbon Acres Challenge Trophy; AQHA All-Around Championships, including six won when she was 81 years old. She was a charter member of the Billings Saddle Club, a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, the Montana Quarter Horse Association, and Montana Cutting horse Association. The highest award was her induction into the "National Cowgirl Hall of Fame" in 2000.

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The Champion
Oil on Barnwood 22" x 24 1/2"

Crowder Horse Ranch
Linda Crowder is a renowned competitive rider, horse trainer and instructor that teaches both in the Billings area and in California. She and her husband, Gary Crowder, along with their son, Kale, own and operate the ranch on the outskirts of Billings which once belonged to Bud and Bobby Brooks Kramer. Their charming home was once a homesteader school, and the walls of their living room are lined from floor to ceiling with pictures of rodeo events in which both Linda and Gary excelled along with plaques, trophies, belt buckles and awards they have both won. Among Linda's many awards are 1986 Intermountain Quarter Horse Association High Point Senior Barrel Horse and High Point Junior Pole Bending Horse; 1982 Montana Quarter Horse Association High Point Senior Barrel Horse; 1996 Borderline Pole Bending Futurity Champion; 2004 Northwest Barrel Racing association Senior 2 D Champion; and 2006 Cans for Cures 1D Champion and Overall High Point Saddle Winner.

Available
Price: US $1300
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The Stare Down
Oil on Barnwood 22" x 26 1/2"

Crowder Horse Ranch
A veteran of the Viet Nam War, Gary, a Montana native, traveled from Colorado to Montana where he was hired on in 1968 as full time horse trainer for Bud and Bobby Kramer on the ranch they had established three miles northeast of Billings. Raising bucking, cutting and quarter horses with the Hanging A Diamond brand along with long-horn cattle and sheep, Bud and Bobby knew they had found a remarkable wrangler in Gary. He knew he had found his life-long career and a friend and advocate in the Kramers. She adopted Gary who now, with his wife, Linda, run the ranch and training stable. They live in what once was an old school house for the homesteaders' children in the Billings area.

Some of Gary's many accomplishments as a well known competitive rider, horse trainer, and breeder include 1975 Midland Empire Open Horse Show Western Pleasure Stakes Champion; 1977 Montana Wyoming Cutting Horse Association High Point Open Cutting Horse and Area 4 Open Champion Cutting Horse; 1981 Intermountain Quarter Horse Association High Point Junior Cutting Horse; 1982 Montana Reined Cowhorse Cutting Horse Derby Champion; 1982 Cow Country Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion; 1987 Montana Quarter Horse Triangle Association Snaffle Bit Reining Futruity Champion and Milk River Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion.

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Mr. Butterfield's Granddaughter
Oil on metal from homestead site 14" x 17 1/2"

Brooks Ranch
Violet Davison Brooks had both a famous grandfather and daughter. John Butterfield won a $600,000 government contract to deliver St. Louis mail to San Francisco in 25 days, thus starting the Butterfield Overland Stage Company, the longest stage coach route in the world. There were 139 change stations along the 2,000 mile route, along with a water stop every 30 miles. Horses used were thoroughbred racing horses so they could out-run Indian attacks, who referred to these fast horses as "faster than wind." The stage company was bought by Wells Fargo, and Mr. Butterfield became the founder of American Express. Violet's daughter was Bobby Brooks Kramer, who was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame for her competitive riding, training, and breeding of horses.

Violet was born in the northern part of Montana. She developed a love of horses at an early age and became a race horse rider and match-racing jockey. A match race, which was quite popular before racing tracks were built, consisted of winning a race of a length chosen by the participants. She also was chosen the first Miss Montana. She married Ed Brooks, a lawman and rancher who settled in Montana after coming up the trail from Texas with a herd of cattle. The painting is based upon an old photo taken of her repairing her saddle near their ranch on Big Sheep Mountain.

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©Jane Stanfel