Preparing to Meet The Enemy

Preparing to Meet The Enemy


Limited Edition Print

Size 22 3/4 x 16 1/4

$150 Signed and Numbered, Edition size 1250

$195 Artist Proof, Edition size 125

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The Lenni Lenape, which means "common people" were uprooted from their homelands in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey during the first half of the 18th century, tentatively establishing their villages along the river bottoms in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio with permission from the Iroquois confederation who controlled this territory by the right of conquest.

    By the mid-18th century, the Lenapes again came under pressure from French and English armies fighting to take control of their newly established homelands. Lenape warriors fought on both sides during the opening battles of this conflict. Angered by the English failure to protect their interest, most Lenapes awaited an opportune moment to abandon their English allies and join the French.

    By 1755 the Lenapes would become an independent nation and call themselves Delawares. They would never again trust strangers. Instead they would look to their own warriors and elders for guidance and strength. And for the next three years raids by the Delaware and other neighboring tribes rolled the line of settlement back to Eastern Pennsylvania as panic-stricken colonists abandoned their farms and fled to shelter in the English forts that sprang up all over the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York frontiers.

    It was this time of Delaware confidence and military power that inspired the painting, "Preparing to Meet the Enemy."

    Robert Griffing takes us to a typical Delaware encampment on the American frontier. We see Delaware warriors painted in such a manner as to strike fear and terror into the hearts of their enemies. As they make last minute adjustments on their weapons, the women serve a hearty feast of woodland stew. Also being prepared is a kind of meal made from ground Indian corn called Tassmanane that could be loaded into a pouch and carried on the trail for later use. As usual, the children, unaffected by the prospects of war, dart among the wigwams with man's best friend.