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Hoo-w'a-ne-kaw, Little Elk

1828 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 18 1/2 x 14 in. (47.0 x 35.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.215 Not currently on view


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Before he began his extensive travels in the West, George Catlin found his first Indian subjects in the East. Nine members of a Winnebago delegation from present-day Wisconsin sat for him in Washington, D.C., in 1828. Catlin wrote that he had painted the portraits of “Won-de-tow-a (the wonder), Wa-kon-chash-kaw (he who comes on the thunder), Nau-naw-pay-ee (the soldier), Span-e-o-nee-kaw (the Spaniard) Hoo-wan-ee-kaw (the little elk), No-ah-choo-she-kaw (he who breaks the bushes), and Naugh-haigh-ke-kaw (he who moistens the wood), all distinguished men of the tribe; and all at full length, as they will be seen standing in my Collection.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 52, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Winnebago

Portrait male - Little Elk

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added