La-wáh-he-coots-la-sháw-no, Brave Chief, a Skidi (Wolf) Pawnee

  • George Catlin, La-wáh-he-coots-la-sháw-no, Brave Chief, a Skidi (Wolf) Pawnee, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.110

A very powerful and warlike nation, living on the river Platte, about one hundred miles from its junction with the Missouri; laying claim to, and exercising sway over, the whole country, from its mouth to the base of the Rocky Mountains. The present number of this tribe is ten or twelve thousand; about one half the number they had in 1832, when that most appalling disease, the small-pox, was accidentally introduced amongst them by the Fur Traders, and whiskey sellers; when ten thousand (or more) of them perished in the course of a few months … The Pawnees have ever been looked upon, as a very warlike and hostile tribe; and unusually so, since the calamity which I have mentioned.” George Catlin went on to describe Brave Chief as having impressions of hands painted on his breast.” The artist probably painted this portrait at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) in 1832. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 34, 1841, reprint 1973; Truettner, The Natural Man Observed, 1979)

Title
La-wáh-he-coots-la-sháw-no, Brave Chief, a Skidi (Wolf) Pawnee
Artist
Date
1832
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
2924 in. (73.760.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian – Pawnee
Object Number
1985.66.110
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI