Making Medicine is illustrated on an antique ledger sheet from Paynter Drug Co., Helena MT cir 1893 and designed in the 1800’s ledger art style with materials traditional to that era; ledger paper and color pencils.
This piece focuses on a healer or holy man as he holds, in his hands, a bundle of sage. Before the sage is picked a tobacco offering and a silent prayer are given to the Creator as well as an acknowledgment of Mother Earth. He begs for forgiveness to the sage for its life to help others. As he gathers, he silently prays.
This traditional way of prayer, offerings, and acknowledgement is the traditional way of our people and has been part of our way of life since the beginning. Sage has been and continues to be used by Indigenous tribes, as a ceremonial plant that is used in many ways. Its usage varies from medicinal healing as a tea with other plants or by itself, to burning the sage for blessing the spirit. Our belief is that all things- stones, plants, a thunderstorm- are alive and sacred. Respecting this life is respecting the Creator and the things he provides for the people. We are on this earth for such a short time (words taken from an Arikara ceremonial song).