menu -- text menu at the bottom of the page Catlin Classroom Home How to Use This Site Campfire Stories For Teachers Speaker Interviews and Transcripts Search the Site
Viewer Prefs small type large type


George Catlin
Pshán-shaw, Sweet-scented Grass, Twelve-year-old Daughter of Bloody Hand, 1832
Arikara/Sahnish
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.


This portrait, according to Catlin, gives “a very pretty specimen of the dress and fashion of the women in this tribe. The inner garment, which is like a slip or frock, is entire in one piece, and beautifully ornamented with embroidery and beads, with a row of elks' teeth passing across the breast, and a robe of the young buffalo's skin, tastefully and elaborately embroidered, gracefully thrown over her shoulders, and hanging down to the ground behind her” (Letters and Notes, vol. 1, p. 204, pl. 84).

Painted at the Arikara village in 1832. The Smithsonian and Gilcrease portraits are identical, except for two earth lodges in the background of the former that are also included in plate 84 of Letters and Notes. The Gilcrease oils were done by Catlin for Sir Thomas Phillips in the late 1840s and early 1850s, and they are clearly acknowledged as later versions of his original paintings. Sweet-scented Grass appears again in cartoon 37.



Home | Site Info | Campfire Stories | For Teachers
Interviews | Search