Shin-ga-wás-sa, Handsome Bird

George Catlin described Handsome Bird, a member of the Osage/Wa-zha-zhe I‑e tribe, as a splendid-looking fellow, six feet eight inches high; with war-club and quiver.” In a different account about manners, customs and conditions, the artist described the war club as another civilized refinement, with a blade of steel, of eight or ten inches in length, and set in a club, studded around and ornamented with some hundreds of brass nails.” Catlin painted this work at Fort Gibson (in present-day Oklahoma) in 1834. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 1, no. 29, 1841, reprint 1973, and 1848 Catalogue, Catlin’s Indian Gallery, SAAM online exhibition)

Title
Shin-ga-wás-sa, Handsome Bird
Artist
Date
1834
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
2924 in. (73.760.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Dress – ethnic – Indian dress
  • Object – weapon – bow and arrow
  • Ethnic – Indian – Osage
  • Portrait male – Handsome Bird – full length
Object Number
1985.66.44
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI