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George Catlin
Né-hee-ó-ee-wóo-tis, Wolf on the Hill, Chief of the Tribe, 1832
Cheyenne/Suhtai
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.


“The chief … was clothed in a handsome dress of deer skins, very neatly garnished with broad bands of porcupine quill-work down the sleeves of his shirt and his leggings, and all the way fringed with scalp-locks. His hair was very profuse, and flowing over his shoulders; and in his hand he held a beautiful Sioux pipe, which had just been presented to him by Mr. M'Kenzie, the Trader. This was one of the finest looking and most dignified men that I have met in the Indian country; and from the account given of him by the Traders a man of honour and strictest integrity” (Letters and Notes, vol. 2, p. 2, pl. 115).

Painted at Fort Pierre in 1832, as Catlin clearly indicates in Letters and Notes. Donaldson's date is incorrect. The basic modeling for such boldly painted Upper Missouri portraits must have been completed in a remarkably short time.

Wolf on the Hill appears again, full length, in cartoon 48 , with his wife and another Cheyenne.



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