Tchong-tas-sáb-bee, Black Dog, Second Chief

  • George Catlin, Tchong-tas-sáb-bee, Black Dog, Second Chief, 1834, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.31

Amongst the chiefs of the Osages, and probably the next in authority and respect in the tribe [to Cler-mónt], is Tchong-tas-sab-bee, the black dog, whom I painted also at full length, with his pipe in one hand, and his tomahawk in the other; his head shaved, and ornamented with a beautiful crest of deers’ hair, and his body wrapped in a huge mackinaw blanket. This dignitary, who is blind in the left eye, is one of the most conspicuous characters in all this country, rendered so by his huge size … as well as by his extraordinary life. The Black Dog is familiarly known to all the officers of the army, as well as to Traders and all other white men … and I believe, admired and respected by most of them. His height, I think, is seven feet; and his limbs full and rather fat, making his bulk formidable, and weighing, perhaps, some 250 or 300 pounds. This man is chief of one of the three bands of the Osages, divided as they are into three families; occupying, as I before said, three villages, denominated Clermont’s Village,’ Black Dog’s Village,’ and White Hair’s Village.’” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 38, 1841; reprint 1973)

Tchong-tas-sáb-bee, Black Dog, Second Chief
Not on view
2924 in. (73.760.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male – Black Dog
Object Number
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