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George Catlin
Assiniboine Woman and Child, 1832
Assiniboine/Nakoda
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.


“The women of this tribe are often comely, and sometimes pretty; in plate 34, will be seen a fair illustration of the dresses of the women and children, which are usually made of the skins of the mountain-goat, and ornamented with porcupine's quills and rows of elk's teeth” (Letters and Notes, vol. 1, p. 57, pl. 34).

Painted at Fort Union in 1832. Although number 159 is a notable exception, Catlin's small children often look like shrunken adults. The Field Museum and Smithsonian portraits are alike, except for the seated child and skin lodges in the background of the latter. That same background is repeated in plate 34 of Letters and Notes.



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