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Túnk-aht-óh-ye, Thunderer, a Boy, and Wun-pán-to-mee, White Weasel, a Girl

1834 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. 1985.66.66-67 Not currently on view

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George Catlin described this brother and sister as “two Kioways who were purchased from the Osages, to be taken to their tribe by the dragoons. The girl was taken the whole distance with us, on horseback, to the Pawnee village, and there delivered to her friends . . . The fine little boy was killed at the Fur Trader's house on the banks of the Verdigris, near Fort Gibson, the day after I painted his portrait, and only a few days before he was to have started with us on the march.” To counter certain myths about Indian relationships, Catlin often wrote of or painted family situations in which members were bound by ties of affection no different from those experienced by their white counterparts. Catlin painted the two children at at Fort Gibson (in present-day Oklahoma) in 1834. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 43, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)


Ethnic - Indian - Kiowa

Portrait female - White Weasel - child

Portrait male - Thunderer - child


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added