Woman and Child, Showing How the Heads of Children are Flattened

  • George Catlin, Woman and Child, Showing How the Heads of Children are Flattened, 1837-1839?, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.147

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Catlin described this work as a portrait “of a Chinook woman, with her child in her arms, her own head flattened, and the infant undergoing the process . . . which is done by placing its back on a board . . . to which it is lashed with thongs, to a position from which it cannot escape, and the back of the head supported by a sort of pillow, made of moss or rabbit skins, with an inclined piece . . . resting on the forehead of the child.” (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 48, 1841; reprint 1973)

Title
Woman and Child, Showing How the Heads of Children are Flattened
Artist
Date
1837-1839?
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 60.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group – female and child
  • Ethnic – Indian – Chinook
Object Number
1985.66.147
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI