Loo-rá-wée-re-coo, Bird that Goes to War, a Tapage Pawnee

  • George Catlin, Loo-rá-wée-re-coo, Bird that Goes to War, a Tapage Pawnee, 1832, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.103

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George Catlin probably painted these images of Pawnee chiefs and warriors at Fort Leavenworth (in today’s Kansas) in 1832. He later described the tribe as: “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.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 34, 1841; reprint 1973)

Loo-rá-wée-re-coo, Bird that Goes to War, a Tapage Pawnee
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 – Bird That Goes To War
  • Ethnic – Indian – Pawnee
Object Number
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