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George Catlin
Wún-nes-tou, White Buffalo, an Aged Medicine Man, 1832
Blackfoot/Siksika
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.


“I have also transferred to my canvass the 'looks and very resemblance’ of an aged chief, who combines with his high office, the envied title of mystery or medicine-man, i.e. doctor -magician-prophet -soothsayer -jongleur- and high priest, all combined in one person, who necessarily is looked upon as ‘Sir Oracle’ of the nation. … on his left arm he presents his mystery-drum or tambour, in which are concealed the hidden and sacred mysteries of his healing art” (Letters and Notes, Vol. 1, P. 34, pl. 15).

Painted at Fort Union in 1832. White Buffalo also appears in cartoon 39.



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