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Ee-tów-o-kaum, Both Sides of the River, Chief of the Tribe

1836 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.272 Not currently on view


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George Catlin probably painted Ee-tów-o-kaum, chief of the Mahican tribe, at Green Bay (in today’s Wisconsin) in 1836. In Letters and Notes, his extensive writings on his travels and visits to Native American tribes across the West, Catlin described the Mahican as a “once powerful and still famous tribe, residing . . . in the territory of Wisconsin,” where they settled after leaving New York in 1833. He painted the chief at “full length, with a psalm-book in one hand, and a cane in the other . . . [he] is a very shrewd and intelligent man, and a professed, and I think, sincere Christian.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 47, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Mahican

Ethnic - Indian - Stockbridge

Portrait male - Both Sides of the River

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added