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Seehk-hée-da, Mouse-colored Feather, a Noted Brave

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. 1985.66.132 Not currently on view


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George Catlin took great care in describing the Mandan tribe. About their hair he wrote: “The diversity in the colour of hair is also equally as great as that in the complexion; for in a numerous group of these people (and more particularly amongst the females, who never take pains to change its natural colour, as the men often do), there may be seen every shade and colour of hair that can be seen in our own country, with the exception of red or auburn, which is not to be found.” Mouse-colored Feather posed “with a beautiful pipe in his hand,” and his hair was “quite yellow.” The artist painted this work at a Mandan village in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 13, 1841, reprint 1973, and 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Mandan

Portrait male - Mouse Colored Feather

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added