O-tá-wah, The Ottaway, a Warrior

  • George Catlin, O-tá-wah, The Ottaway, a Warrior, 1835, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.188

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George Catlin described this painting as a “portrait of a warrior . . . with his pipe in his hand . . . Smoking is a luxury so highly valued by the Indians, they have bestowed much pains, and not a little ingenuity, to the construction of their pipes. Of these I have procured a collection of several hundreds, and have given facsimile outlines of a number of the most curious. The bowls of these are generally made of the red steatite, or ‘pipe-stone’ (as it is more familiarly called in this country), and many of them designed and carved with much taste and skill, with figures and groups in alto relievo, standing or reclining upon them.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vols. 1&2, nos. 29, 51; 1841; reprint 1973)

O-tá-wah, The Ottaway, a Warrior
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 – Ottaway
  • Ethnic – Indian – Ojibwa
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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