On the Border of the White Man's Land

Artist: Solon Hannibal Borglum (American, Ogden, Utah 1868–1922 Stamford, Connecticut)

Date: 1899; cast 1906–07

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 18 1/2 x 27 x 10 1/4 in. (47 x 68.6 x 26 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907

Accession Number: 07.104


In 1899 Borglum spent three months among the Sioux at the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota, where he began to model his first Indian subject. In ensuing years, he offered contradictory narratives about this prone figure shielded by his horse for a camouflaged view of his foe. One explanation was that it represented Black Eagle, a scout for General George A. Custer, who was sent to report on unvanquished Indians. Another was that the unnamed Indian, grasping a rifle, was spying on white settlers or a passing train.