Hongs-káy-dee, Great Chief, Son of The Smoke

  • George Catlin, Hongs-káy-dee, Great Chief, Son of The Smoke, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.97

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George Catlin described Great Chief, son of the Ponca chief the Smoke, as a “youth of eighteen years . . . [who] distinguished himself in a singular manner the day before our steamer reached their village, by taking to him four wives in one day! This extraordinary and unprecedented freak of his, was just the thing to make him the greatest sort of medicine in the eyes of his people; and probably he may date much of his success and greatness through life, to this bold and original step, which suddenly raised him into notice and importance.” Catlin painted Great Chief at a Ponca village in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes , vol. 1, no. 26, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Hongs-káy-dee, Great Chief, Son of The Smoke
Artist
Date
1832
On View
Not 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 – Ponca
  • Portrait male – Great Chief
Object Number
1985.66.97
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI