George Catlin, Lay-láw-she-kaw, Goes Up the River, an Aged Chief, 1830, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.277
“The present chief of the [Shawnee] tribe,” George Catlin wrote, “is a very aged, but extraordinary man, with a fine and intelligent head, and his ears slit and stretched down to his shoulders, a custom highly valued in this tribe; which is done by severing the rim of the ear with a knife, and stretching it down by wearing heavy weights attached to it at times, to elongate it as much as possible, making a large orifice, through which, on parades, &c. they often pass a bunch of arrows or quills, and wear them as ornaments.” Catlin probably painted this work at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) in 1830. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 49, 1841; reprint 1973)
Lay-láw-she-kaw, Goes Up the River, an Aged Chief
- 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 – Goes Up The River – elderly
- Ethnic – Indian – Shawnee
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI