Háw-che-ke-súg-ga, He Who Kills the Osages, Chief of the Tribe

  • George Catlin, Háw-che-ke-súg-ga, He Who Kills the Osages, Chief of the Tribe, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.122

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George Catlin described He Who Kills the Osages as “an old man” wearing a “necklace of grisly bears’ claws, and a handsome carved pipe in his hand.” The name of Kills the Osages is redolent of the history of his tribe as well as his own battle achievements. A century before Catlin’s arrival in the West, the Missouria controlled the fur trade on the river that bears their name; their dominance, however, was under constant assault from the Osages, who eventually won. By the time Catlin met this elderly war chief, the Missouria, much reduced in power and number, had joined with the Otoes. Catlin probably painted this image at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) in 1832. (Catlin, 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition; Gurney and Heyman, eds., George Catlin and His Indian Gallery, 2002)

Title
Háw-che-ke-súg-ga, He Who Kills the Osages, Chief of the Tribe
Artist
Date
1832
On View
Dimensions
29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian – Missouri
  • Recreation – leisure – smoking
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
  • Portrait male – He Who Kills The Osages – bust
Object Number
1985.66.122
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI