Old Arrow Maker

  • Edmonia Lewis, Old Arrow Maker, modeled 1866, carved 1872, carved marble, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Joseph S. Sinclair, 1983.95.182

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Edmonia Lewis's Old Arrow Maker illustrates an excerpt from the Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in which the character Minnehaha plaits "mats of flags and rushes" while her father makes "arrow-heads of jasper." They both look up to greet Hiawatha, whose presence is implied by the deer he brought as a token of marriage. Lewis often created sculptures of Native Americans, and possibly chose the character of Hiawatha because he was from the Ojibwa tribe, like her mother.

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"At the doorway of his wigwam

Sat the ancient Arrow-maker

At his side, in all her beauty,

Sat the lovely Minnehaha"

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Song of Hiawatha, first published 1855
Title
Old Arrow Maker
Artist
Date
modeled 1866, carved 1872
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
21 1/2 x 13 5/8 x 13 3/8 in. (54.5 x 34.5 x 34.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Joseph S. Sinclair

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved marble
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation – craft – arrow maker
  • Ethnic – Indian
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
  • Figure group
  • Object – game – deer
Object Number
1983.95.182
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

modeled ca. 1872, carved 1876
marble
ca. 1866
carved marble
modeled 1866, carved 1872
marble
1875
carved marble

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