Buffalo Chase, a Surround by the Hidatsa

  • George Catlin, Buffalo Chase, a Surround by the Hidatsa, 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.409

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“We soon descried at a distance, a fine herd of buffaloes grazing, when a halt and a council were ordered and the mode of attack was agreed upon. I had armed myself with my pencil and my sketch-book only, and consequently took my position generally in the rear, where I could see and appreciate every manoeuvre. The plan of attack, which in this country is familiarly called a ‘surround,’ was explicitly agreed upon, and the hunters who were all mounted on their ‘buffalo horses’ and armed with bows and arrows or long lances, divided into two columns, taking opposite directions, and drew themselves gradually around the herd at a mile or more distance from them; thus forming a circle of horsemen at equal distances apart, who gradually closed in upon them with a moderate pace, at a signal given. The unsuspecting herd at length ‘got the wind’ of the approaching enemy and fled in a mass in the greatest confusion.” George Catlin sketched this scene on the Upper Missouri in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 24, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Buffalo Chase, a Surround by the Hidatsa
Artist
Date
1832-1833
Location
Dimensions
24 x 29 in. (60.9 x 73.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group – male
  • Animal – horse
  • Ethnic – Indian – Hidatsa
  • Animal – buffalo
  • Occupation – hunter
  • Western
Object Number
1985.66.409
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI