THE art left by the prehistoric tribesmen, who covered many cliff and cave walls in Wyoming with pictographs and petroglyphs, is generally classified under two main headings: those composed of conventionalized signs and symbols, and those that attempt a more realistic representation of natural objects, such as bear tracks, trees, deer, elk, and tepees. In many places these designs are tinted with red, black, brown, yellow, green, pale orange, purplish red, and white, the pigments being obtained from vegetable, animal, and mineral sources. In these drawings there is no indication of any conscious artistic or symbolic intention.
The Plains Indians who later roamed over the State practiced more advanced crafts and learned to make rawhide shields, war bonnets, clothing, skin cradles, ornaments, and parfleches.
The shield, usually made by an old warrior or recognized medicine man, always took its design from a dream in which the dreamer was instructed by the spirit concerning the number of shields he might make and how they should be painted. Those who acquired the shields compensated the makers with horses, blankets, or other valuable property. Hide, obtained from the neck of a bull buffalo, was toughened by shrinking while wet over a fire. The cutting, painting, and decorating with feathers and pendants were accompanied by great ceremony.
Ceremony and song were also part of the making of war bonnets by the warriors of the tribe. A battle honor was recounted upon each feather before it was placed in position. Previous to the use of horses by the Indians, the flap at the back of the war bonnet rarely extended below the wearer's waist. After the warriors began to ride horseback, the 'spine' with its bright feather ruff was lengthened to equal the owner's height.
Each tribe had its own peculiar cut and decoration for tepee, moccasin, and other personal effects. In the buffalo country the women