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I-an-be-w'ah-dick, Male Caribou, a Brave

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. 1985.66.194 Not currently on view


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George Catlin described Male Caribou, a member of the Ojibwe/Chippewa tribe, as “a brave, with a war-club in his hand.” This portrait was painted from life at Sault Ste. Marie, located between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, during Catlin’s only visit there in 1836. Despite the obvious interest Catlin took in rendering the decorated shirt, war club, and feathered turban-style headdress, this warrior’s direct gaze is what holds our attention. Catlin’s portraits show the Plains Indians as individuals with distinct personalities. (Catlin, 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)

Keywords

Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Ethnic - Indian - Ojibwa

Object - weapon - club

Portrait male - Male Caribou - bust

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added