Ka-pés-ka-da, Shell Man, an Oglala Brave

  • George Catlin, Ka-pés-ka-da, Shell Man, an Oglala Brave, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.76

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“I am now in the heart of the country belonging to the numerous tribe of Sioux or Dahcotas, and have Indian faces and Indian customs in abundance around me. This tribe is one of the most numerous in North America, and also one of the most vigorous and warlike tribes to be found, numbering some forty or fifty thousand, and able undoubtedly to muster, if the tribe could be moved simultaneously, at least eight or ten thousand warriors, well mounted and well armed. This tribe take vast numbers of the wild horses on the plains towards the Rocky Mountains, and many of them have been supplied with guns; but the greater part of them hunt with their bows and arrows and long lances, killing their game from their horses' backs while at full speed.” George Catlin painted Ka-pés-ka-da at Fort Pierre in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 26, 1841; reprint 1973)

Ka-pés-ka-da, Shell Man, an Oglala Brave
On View
Not on view.
29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male – Shell Man – bust
  • Ethnic – Indian – Sioux
  • Ethnic – Indian – Dakota
  • Portrait male – Shell Man
  • Ethnic – Indian – Oglala
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI