Rainmaking among the Mandan

  • George Catlin, Rainmaking among the Mandan, 1837-1839, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.476

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George Catlin was fascinated by the Mandan medicine men “performing their mysteries” and particularly noted the young men who “volunteer to stand upon the lodge from sunrise until sundown, in turn, commanding it to rain. Each one has to hazard the disgrace which attaches (when he descends at sundown) to a fruitless attempt; and he who succeeds acquires a lasting reputation as a Mystery or Medicine man.” (Catlin, 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)

Title
Rainmaking among the Mandan
Artist
Date
1837-1839
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
19 1/2 x 27 in. (49.5 x 68.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior – domestic – hut
  • Ceremony – Indian – Rain Ceremony
  • Ethnic – Indian – Mandan
  • Figure group
Object Number
1985.66.476
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI