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Ball-play of the Choctaw--Ball Down

1834-1835 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 5/8 in. (49.7 x 70.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.429 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

In Choctaw lacrosse, which George Catlin witnessed in 1834, each team was cheered on by friends, family, and fans who camped at the opposite ends of the field to watch the game and bet on its outcome. Catlin noted that women did much of the wagering, which involved “knives-dresses-blankets-pots and kettles-dogs and horses, and guns.”


Ethnic - Indian - Choctaw

Figure group - male

Recreation - sport and play - ball

painting - miniature

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added