Wa-kon-chásh-kaw, He Who Comes on the Thunder

  • George Catlin, Wa-kon-chásh-kaw, He Who Comes on the Thunder, 1828, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.211

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Before he began his extensive travels in the West, George Catlin found his first Indian subjects in the East. Nine members of a Winnebago delegation from present-day Wisconsin sat for him in Washington, D.C., in 1828. Catlin wrote that he had painted the portraits of “Won-de-tow-a (the wonder), Wa-kon-chash-kaw (he who comes on the thunder), Nau-naw-pay-ee (the soldier), Span-e-o-nee-kaw (the Spaniard) Hoo-wan-ee-kaw (the little elk), No-ah-choo-she-kaw (he who breaks the bushes), and Naugh-haigh-ke-kaw (he who moistens the wood), all distinguished men of the tribe; and all at full length, as they will be seen standing in my Collection.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 52, 1841; reprint 1973)

Wa-kon-chásh-kaw, He Who Comes on the Thunder
On View
Not on view.
18 1/2 x 14 in. (47.0 x 35.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait male – He Who Comes On The Thunder
  • Ethnic – Indian – Winnebago
Object Number
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