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Comanche Giving Arrows to the Medicine Rock

1837-1839 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. 1985.66.472 Not currently on view


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“A curious superstition of the Camanchees: going to war, they have no faith in their success, unless they pass a celebrated painted rock, where they appease the spirit of war (who resides there), by riding by it at full gallop, and sacrificing their best arrow by throwing it against the side of the ledge.” (Catlin, 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)

Keywords

Animal - horse

Ethnic - Indian - Comanche

Figure group - male

Recreation - sport and play - archery

Western

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added