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Eé-shah-kó-nee, Bow and Quiver, First Chief of the Tribe

1834 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. 1985.66.46 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 3A


Luce Center Label

George Catlin described this Comanche chief as “pleasant looking . . . without anything striking or peculiar in his looks; dressed in a very humble manner . . . his hair carelessly falling about his face, and over his shoulders.” He noted that “the only ornaments to be seen about him were a couple of beautiful shells worn in his ears, and a boar’s tusk attached to his neck, and worn on his breast.” The chief’s mild demeanor masks the ferocious struggle against white settlers that his people would sustain for decades. Catlin painted this portrait when the United States military had not yet gained control of the southern Plains. The confrontation between Bow and Quiver’s people and white settlers would come to a head in the Comanche and Kiowa wars of the 1870s. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 42, 1841, reprint 1973; Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, 2002)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Comanche

Portrait male - Bow and Quiver

Portrait male - Bow and Quiver - bust

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added