Picture writing is a way of expressing thoughts and recording events by characters and drawings. The American Indians used picture writing to depict their legends and dreams, personal triumphs in the hunt and on the battlefield, and family and tribal history. While many objects are indicated by simple representations the symbol for a dog is a picture of a dog other symbols are more abstract and sometimes very poetic. The word sadness, for example, is expressed by the picture of a man whose heart is on the ground, and the word peace is pictured as a broken arrow.
In this book Robert Hofsinde presents 248 pictures taken from the Indians' picture writing, and their captions contain colorful information about Indian culture. He also describes exploit markings, symbols of past victories which the Indian painted on himself and his horse before riding into battle. A helpful index makes it easy to locate all the symbols, and sample letters in the picture writing show the reader how he can read and write in the Indian way.
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