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Canoe Race Near Sault Ste. Marie

1836-1837 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. (49.7 x 70.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.434 Not currently on view

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“. . . one of their favourite amusements at this place, which I was lucky enough to witness a few miles below the Sault, when high bettings had been made, and a great concourse of Indians had assembled to witness an Indian regatta; or canoe race, which went off with great excitement, firing of guns, yelping, &c. The Indians in this vicinity are all Chippeways, and their canoes all made of birch bark, and chiefly of one model; they are exceedingly light, as I have before described, and propelled with wonderful velocity.” George Catlin sketched this scene during a journey to the Pipestone Quarry (in present-day Minnesota) in 1836. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 54, 1841; reprint 1973)


Ethnic - Indian - Ojibwa

Landscape - Michigan - Sault Ste. Marie

Landscape - river

Recreation - sport and play - boating

Travel - water - canoe



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added