Eé-shah-kó-née, Bow and Quiver, First Chief of the Tribe

  • George Catlin, Eé-shah-kó-nee, Bow and Quiver, First Chief of the Tribe, 1834, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.46

George Catlin described this Comanche chief as pleasant looking … without anything striking or peculiar in his looks; dressed in a very humble manner … his hair carelessly falling about his face, and over his shoulders.” He noted that the only ornaments to be seen about him were a couple of beautiful shells worn in his ears, and a boar’s tusk attached to his neck, and worn on his breast.” The chief’s mild demeanor masks the ferocious struggle against white settlers that his people would sustain for decades. Catlin painted this portrait when the United States military had not yet gained control of the southern Plains. The confrontation between Bow and Quiver’s people and white settlers would come to a head in the Comanche and Kiowa wars of the 1870s. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 42, 1841, reprint 1973; Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, 2002)

Eé-shah-kó-née, Bow and Quiver, First Chief of the Tribe
2924 in. (73.760.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male – Bow and Quiver
  • Ethnic – Indian – Comanche
Object Number
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