These works by Monte are “Ledger Art”. This expression was adopted as a means of historical storytelling for the Indian peoples of the Great Plains during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although the Plains Indians had no written language in which to record their history, they would depict life by drawing and paining on any kind of paper or cloth that they could find, often ledger books. Ledger art flourished from the 1860s to the 1920s. Monte’s ledger artworks are truly pieces of  living history.

Monte Yellowbird

Monte Yellowbird

Yellow Bird signs his work with the name he was given through ceremony, Black Pinto Horse.  He is the son of Willard (Wolf Trail) Yellow Bird, a descendant of Bears Teeth & Iron Bear and Magdalen (Corn Tassel) Youngbird/Yellow Bird a descendant of Strikes Enemy & Sitting Bear. 

While in high school, his math teacher recognized his artistic talent, introducing him to the renowned Institute of American Indian Arts of Santa Fe NM. As a 16-year-old that had never left the reservation, he credits this experience as life-changing saying, “It evoked a pride of my culture & a new self-identity.”

Years later, Yellow Bird furthered his art & history studies at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND majoring in History Education with an Art minor. In 2002, he earned a BFA from Minot State University, Minot, ND.

Since 2004 he has owned and operated his fine arts and educational company, Black Pinto Horse Fine Arts.  Yellow Bird is represented by galleries, museums, and educational institutions both nationally and internationally.  He attends prestigious Indian Art Markets such as Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard, and Eiteljorg Museums, and has collectors worldwide, such as art in the permanent collection of the Volkenkunde Museum of Leiden Netherlands and the Nelson- Atkins Museum in Kansas City.

Grandmother Moon Song
Spotted Horse Warrior