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Kay-ée-qua-da-kúm-ee-gísh-kum, He Who Tries the Ground with His Foot

1836 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. 1985.66.185 Not currently on view

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In 1835, after his visit to Oklahoma, George Catlin journeyed up the Mississippi by steamer from New Orleans to Fort Snelling in present-day Minnesota, bringing his wife, Clara, on a western “tour” for the first and only time. Tribes of the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes region, such as the Ojibwe/Chippewa shown here, had been increasingly pressured by European traders, war, and United States expansion since the eighteenth century. Well before Catlin’s arrival, the upper midwestern tribes had incorporated woven cloth and elaborate beadwork into their dresses.


Ethnic - Indian - Ojibwa

Portrait male - He Who Tries The Ground With His Foot


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added