Wyoming Indian High School senior, Haily Washakie has artwork permanently on display at Central Wyoming Colleges’ Intertribal Center. The piece titled “Wyoming Warrior” is a block print that was originally 8.5 by 11 inches. It is now a two by three foot wall hanging.
After creating the piece as a classroom project, she and other Wyoming Indian High School students displayed their art at shows in Casper and Lander. It was first seen by the wife of Todd Guenther, associate professor of anthropology and history, who told him to go view the art. Guenther later asked Washakie if she would be willing to sell her piece.
“The subject of the piece was perfect for what I teach about the iconic Wyoming cowboy,” Guenther said. The Wyoming cowboy logo was based on a photograph of Albert Jerome “Stub” Farlow riding a horse named Deadman at the War Bonnet Round-Up in Idaho Falls in 1913. Farlow identified himself as a Native American and lived on the Wind River Reservation.
Lester Hunt, the Secretary of State at the time, saw the photo and stated that Hunt “represents all that is typical and symbolic of the west,” according to the December 26, 1935 article in the Wyoming State Journal which later became the Lander Journal. In 1936 the logo was imprinted on Wyoming’s license plates.
After Washakie heard the story that the iconic cowboy was a Native American from her grandfather, she decided to change the look of the image by adding a war bonnet. She got the idea of adding the war bonnet because her great, great grandfather was Chief Washakie.
“He was the inspiration behind the image,” Washakie said.
“She has done a fine job of getting her art work out there and has made a lot of progress,” said Cleve Bell, art instructor at Wyoming Indian High School. “I am proud of her and I’m looking forward to seeing where it will take her in the future.”
Guenther said he would like to expand the exhibit at CWC by adding a history of Wyoming’s license plates. Currently he has 1935 with no logo and 1937.
“I would really like to find a 1936 license plate to add to the collection,” Guenther said.