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Náh-se-ús-kuk, Whirling Thunder, Eldest Son of Black Hawk

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. 1985.66.3 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing

Luce Center Label

This painting shows the eldest son of Black Hawk, Náh-se-ús-kuk (the Whirling Thunder). He was, according to George Catlin, a “very handsome young warrior, and one of the finest-looking Indians I ever saw. There is a strong party in the tribe [Sac and Fox] that is anxious to put this young man up; and I think it more than likely, that Kee-o-kuk as chief may fall ere long by his hand, or by some of the tribe, who are anxious to reinstate the family of Black Hawk.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 56, 1841; reprint 1973)


Dress - ethnic - Indian dress

Ethnic - Indian - Sauk and Fox

Ethnic - Indian - Sauk and Fox

Portrait male - Whirling Thunder

Portrait male - Whirling Thunder - bust


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

metal - aluminum - support added