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Toh-kí-e-to, Stone With Horns, a Chief

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. 1985.66.82 Not currently on view


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George Catlin painted Stone with Horns at Fort Pierre, on his Missouri River trip in 1832. Stone with Horns was a chief of the Yankton Nakota, and Catlin described him in his travel account, Letters and Notes: “Toh-ki-e-to . . . [is] reputed the principal and most eloquent orator of the nation. The neck, and breast, and shoulders of this man, were curiously tattooed, by pricking in gunpowder and vermilion, which in this extraordinary instance, was put on in such elaborate profusion as to appear at a little distance like a beautifully embroidered dress. In his hand he held a handsome pipe, the stem of which was several feet long, and all the way wound with ornamented braids of the porcupine quills. Around his body was wrapped a valued robe, made of the skin of the grizzly bear, and on his neck several strings of wampum . . . I was much amused with the excessive vanity and egotism of this notorious man, who, whilst sitting for his picture, took occasion to have the interpreter constantly explaining to me the wonderful effects which his oratory had at different times produced on the minds of the chiefs and people of his tribe.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 27, 1841; reprint 1973)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Dakota

Portrait male - Stone With Horns

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added