Sharron Ahtone Harjo

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Sharron Ahtone Harjo
Born Marcelle Sharron Ahtone Harjo[1]
(1945-01-06)January 6, 1945[2]
Carnegie, Oklahoma
Nationality Kiowa
Education Bacone College
Known for painting, ledger art
Movement ledger art
Elected Miss Indian America (1968)[3]

Marcelle Sharron Ahtone Harjo (born 6 Jan 1945) is a Kiowa painter from Oklahoma.[1] Her Kiowa name, Sain-Tah-Oodie translated to "Killed With a Blunted Arrow."[2] She and Virginia Stroud were instrumental in the revival of ledger art, a Plains Indian narrative pictorial style on Western supports, such as paper or canvas.[4]


Sharron Ahtone Harjo's parents were Evelyn Tahome and Jacob Ahtone. Evelyn's parents were A. Jane Goombi and Stephen "Tahome" Poolant. Jacob served as Kiowa Tribal Chairman from 1978 to 1980. Jacob's parents were Tahdo and was Samuel Ahtone.[2] Samuel attended the Hampton Institute in Virginia and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Samuel was a ledger artist.[4]

Her ancestor, Millie Durgan, was taken captive by the Kiowas as a young girl. Durgan acculturated into Kiowa society and became a renowned cradleboard-maker.[5]

Harjo graduated from Billings West High School in Billings, Montana in 1963.[2] She studied art under Cheyenne artist Dick West at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 1963 to 1965.[6] In 1965, she earned her AA from Bacone and earned her BA from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.[2]

In 1968, Harjo was chosen as Miss Indian America.[3]

Art career[edit]

Sharron Ahtone Harjo paints in acrylic, oil, gouache, and watercolor.[2] In the 1970s, Ahtone began showing her work professionally. Due to the lack of acceptance women artists in her area, she exhibited under the name Ahtone Harjo.[4] She later taught art in schools.[3]


Harjo primarily lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, although she also stays in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her daughter Tahnee Ahtone Harjo Growing Thunder is a successful beadwork and textile artist.

Public collections[edit]

Ruthe Jones' work can be found in the following public collections.

Published works[edit]

  • Hail, Barbara, Everett R. Rhoades, and Sharron Ahtone Harjo. Gifts of Price and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. IBSN 978-080613604-2.


  1. ^ a b "Marcelle Sharron Ahtone Harjo, 1945-." Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 25 Aug 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Lester 221
  3. ^ a b c Clark 189
  4. ^ a b c Pearce 13
  5. ^ Sellin, Christine. "Kiowa and Comanche Lattice Cradle Exhibition at UCLA Fowler Museum Opens Aug. 27." UCLA News. 15 May 2000. Retrieved 25 Aug 2013.
  6. ^ Pearce xvi
  7. ^ Pearce 14