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George Catlin
Tul-lock-chísh-ko, Drinks the Juice of the Stone, in Ball-player's Dress, 1834
Choctaw
oil
29 x 24 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.


“The most distinguished ball-player of the Choctaw nation, represented in his ball-play dress, with his ball-sticks in his hands. In every ball-play of these people, it is a rule of the play, that no man shall wear mocassins on his feet, or any other dress than his breech-cloth around his waist, with a beautiful bead belt, and a ‘tail’ made of white horsehair or quills, and a ‘mane’ on the neck, of horsehair dyed of various colors” (Letters and Notes, vol. 2, pp. 120– 25, pl. 223).

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Painted at Fort Gibson in 1834. Catlin produces an effective design from the profile of the ballplayer and his equipment .

The Gilcrease watercolor is a faithful edition of the Smithsonian original, and the subject appears again in cartoon 82, with two other ballplayers. The original version of this cartoon is in the Gilcrease Souvenir album (pl. 50), which in turn is based on plate 21 of Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, first published in 1844.



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