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Ah-tón-we-tuck, Cock Turkey, Repeating His Prayer

1830 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. 1985.66.241 Not currently on view


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George Catlin described Cock Turkey as “another Kickapoo of some distinction, and a disciple of the Prophet; in the attitude of prayer also, which he is reading off from characters cut upon a stick that he holds in his hands.” Ah-tón-we-tuck’s prayer stick was used for twice-daily recitations of a prayer adapted from the teachings of a Methodist missionary. The artist probably painted this portrait at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) in 1830. (Catlin, <i>Letters and Notes</i>, vol. 2, no. 47, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Kickapoo

Portrait male - Cock Turkey

Recreation - church - prayer

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added