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Signed at lower right inside image in black ink: "Geo. Catlin"; inscribed at upper center outside image in black ink over graphite: "Pl. 191. / Begging horses. (Saukie)"
Graphite and black ink on prepared card
Overall: 18 3/8 x 24 1/8 in. ( 46.7 x 61.3 cm )
Ethnography. Studies of Native Americans: a ritual of exchange between Fox and Saukie tribes; Saukie warriors in need of horses sit in a circle outside a Fox village to 'smoke', or beg for horses. Fox men ride around the circle, each choosing a recipient for his horse and whipping his shoulders till blood is drawn. The bridle is then presented to the Saukie with the ritual phrase Catlin translated as "Friend, you are a begger, and I give you the best horse in the Fox Nation, but you will carry my mark upon your shoulders".
The artist's collection; Francis Putnam Catlin, the artist's brother, serving as agent to George Henry Moore, acting on behalf of N-YHS
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.