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Sioux Encamped on the Upper Missouri, Dressing Buffalo Meat and Robes

1832 George Catlin Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872 oil on canvas 11 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (28.6 x 36.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr. 1985.66.377 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

“The Blackfeet and the Crows, like the Sioux and Assinneboins, have nearly the same mode of constructing their wigwam or lodge . . . These lodges, or tents, are taken down in a few minutes . . . when they wish to change their location, and easily transported to any part of the country where they wish to encamp; and they generally move some six or eight times in the course of the summer; following the immense herds of buffaloes, as they range over these vast plains, from east to west, and north to south. The objects for which they do this are two-fold,---to procure and dress their skins, which are brought in, in the fall and winter, and sold to the Fur Company, for white man's luxury; and also for the purpose of killing and drying buffalo meat, which they bring in from their hunts, packed on their horses' backs, in great quantities; making pemican, and preserving the marrow-fat for their winter quarters.” George Catlin painted this scene in 1832, during a voyage along the Missouri River. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 7, 1841; reprint 1973)


Architecture Exterior - domestic - teepee

Ethnic - Indian - Sioux

Figure group

Landscape - river - Missouri River

Occupation - craft - leatherworker



paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added