Ball-play of the Choctaw--Ball Up

  • George Catlin, Ball-play of the Choctaw--Ball Up, 1846-1850, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.428A

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In 1834, George Catlin witnessed Choctaw lacrosse in Indian Territory near present-day Oklahoma, and was captivated by the game. He described ball-play as “a school for the painter or sculptor, equal to any of those which ever inspired the hand of the artist in the Olympian games or the Roman forum.” Lacrosse, which involved a no-holds-barred struggle for the ball, was a physical, even violent, game called “little brother of war” in Choctaw.

Title
Ball-play of the Choctaw--Ball Up
Artist
Date
1846-1850
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
25 3/4 x 32 in. (65.4 x 81.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior – domestic – teepee
  • Figure group
  • Ethnic – Indian – Choctaw
  • Recreation – sport and play – ball
Object Number
1985.66.428A
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI