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Duhk-gits-o-ó-see, Red Bear, a Distinguished Warrior

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. 1985.66.167 Not currently on view


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“I have just been painting a number of the Crows, fine looking and noble gentlemen. They are really a handsome and well-formed set of men as can be seen in any part of the world. There is a sort of ease and grace added to their dignity of manners, which gives them the air of gentlemen at once. I observed the other day, that most of them were over six feet high and very many of these have cultivated their natural hair to such an almost incredible length, that it sweeps the ground as they walk; there are frequent instances of this kind amongst them, and in some cases, a foot or more it will drag on the grass as they walk, giving exceeding grace and beauty their movements. They usually oil their hair with a profusion of bear grease every morning, which is no doubt one cause of the unusual length to which their hair extends; though it cannot be the sole cause of it, for the other tribes throughout this country use the bear's grease in equal profusion without producing the same results.” George Catlin painted this work at Fort Union in the upper Midwest in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 8, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Crow

Portrait male - Red Bear

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added