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Peh-tó-pe-kiss, Eagle's Ribs, a Piegan Chief

1832 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. 1985.66.160 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 3A

Luce Center Label

A slight tilt of the head and a direct gaze reflect this sitter’s self-assurance. George Catlin admired Eagle’s Ribs as a brave warrior, writing that he was “one of the extraordinary men of the Blackfoot” and that he owned “eight scalps, which he says he has taken from the heads of trappers and traders with his own hand.” Catlin also noted that the chief’s ornate costume was covered with scalplocks both “savage and civil.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 5, 1841; reprint 1973)


Ethnic - Indian - Blackfoot

Ethnic - Indian - Piegan

Portrait male - Eagle's Ribs


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added