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An Osage Indian Lancing a Buffalo

1846-1848 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in. (49.7 x 70.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.567 Not currently on view

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George Catlin enjoyed and documented buffalo hunts with various tribes, describing methods such as the exhilarating but dangerous chase on horseback, the surround, and the ambush, in which hunters crept among the unsuspecting herds disguised under the skin of a white wolf for a close and easy shot. During the 1830s, many Indians still used the ambush, but the acquisition of the horse centuries before had transformed their hunting methods. The tribes could now hunt with less danger to themselves as well as greater hope of success.


Animal - buffalo

Ethnic - Indian - Osage

Figure male - full length

Occupation - hunter



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added