HEREIN LIES WHAT THE MOUNTAIN-LIONS LEFT OF MUCHABONGO. GONE TO THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS, WHERE GAME IS EVER PLENTIFUL, AND THE WHITE MAN NEVER INTRUDES.

  • Unidentified, HEREIN LIES WHAT THE MOUNTAIN-LIONS LEFT OF MUCHABONGO. GONE TO THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS, WHERE GAME IS EVER PLENTIFUL, AND THE WHITE MAN NEVER INTRUDES., early 20th century, carved and painted wood and plaster, synthetic fiber and buttons, wool cotton, feathers, and shell, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.313A-B

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Nineteenth-century carnivals, dime museums, and freak shows often offered grotesque waxworks alongside preserved body parts and skeletons. This modeled head of Muchabongo may have been part of a Coney Island exhibit that was bought from Phineas Taylor Barnum, founder of the American Museum and “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Objects like this, exhibited at carnivals and international expositions, emphasized racial stereotypes by portraying “exotic” people as curiosities and freaks.

Title
HEREIN LIES WHAT THE MOUNTAIN-LIONS LEFT OF MUCHABONGO. GONE TO THE HAPPY HUNTING GROUNDS, WHERE GAME IS EVER PLENTIFUL, AND THE WHITE MAN NEVER INTRUDES.
Artist
Date
early 20th century
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
9 5/8 x 17 5/8 x 11 3/4 in. (24.6 x 44.9 x 29.7 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood and plaster, synthetic fiber and buttons, wool cotton, feathers, and shell
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian
  • State of being – death
  • Portrait male – Muchabongo – head
Object Number
1986.65.313A-B
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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