A true American hero who earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and
a Congressional Gold Medal, Brummett Echohawk was also a Pawnee on
the European battlefields of World War II. He used the Pawnee
language and counted coup as his grandfather had done during the
Indian wars of the previous century. This first book-length
biography depicts Echohawk as a soldier, painter, writer, humorist,
and actor profoundly shaped by his Pawnee heritage and a man who
refused to be pigeonholed as an ""Indian artist."" Through his
formative war service in the 45th Infantry Division (known as the
Thunderbirds), Echohawk strove to prove himself both a patriot and
a true Pawnee warrior. Pawnee history, culture, and spiritual
belief inspired his courageous conduct and bolstered his confidence
that he would return home. Echohawk's career as an artist began
with combat sketches published under such titles as ""Death Shares
a Ditch at Bloody Anzio."" His portraits of Allied and enemy
soldiers, some of which appeared in the Detroit Free Press in 1944,
included drawings of men from all over the world, among them
British infantrymen, Gurkhas, and a Japanese American soldier.
After the war, without relying on the GI Bill, Echohawk studied at
the Art Institute of Chicago for three years. His persistence paid
off, leading to work as a staff artist for several Chicago
newspapers. Echohawk was also a humorist whose prodigious output
includes published cartoons and several parodies of famous
paintings, such as a Mona Lisa wearing a headband, turquoise ring,
and beaded necklace. Featuring eight of Echohawk's paintings in
full color, this thoroughly researched biography shows how one
unusual man succeeded in American Indian and mainstream cultures.
World War II aficionados will marvel at Echohawk's military feats,
and American art enthusiasts will appreciate a body of work
characterized by deep historical research, an eye for beauty, and a
unique ability to capture tribal humor.
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