Sioux Dog Feast

Media - 1985.66.494 - SAAM-1985.66.494_1 - 67368
Copied George Catlin, Sioux Dog Feast, 1832-1837, oil on canvas, 2429 in. (60.973.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.494
Free to use

Artwork Details

Sioux Dog Feast
2429 in. (60.973.7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Ceremony — Indian — Dog Feast
  • Western
  • Architecture Interior — domestic — teepee
  • Indian — Sioux
  • Figure group — male
Object Number

Artwork Description

George Catlin participated in a Sioux Indian ceremony of friendship at which a meal of dog meat was the center of the event. He explained the significance of this meal in his journal: "This feast was unquestioningly given to us as the most undoubted evidence they could give of their friendship. Knowing the spirit in which it was given, we could not but treat it respectfully, and receive it as anything but a high and marked compliment. The dog feast is truly a religious ceremony. The Indian sees fit to sacrifice his faithful companion to bear testimony to the sacredness of his vows of friendship."