Because they had no written language, it was vital to the Indians' preservation of their rituals and legends that these be handed down orally from one generation to the next. In this painting a Blackfeet elder, medicine pipe in his hand, sits atop the sacred Chief Mountain in Montana, relating to a younger man the legends which he wants to be certain will be preserved and retold for the benefit of those who come after.
The artist saw this scene in early morning, when the rising sun was in bright contrast to the dark blue shadows marking the distant mountains and deep canyons. "I am always attracted by that kind of light", he says. "The mood was so beautiful."