Museum Closure

The New-York Historical Society will be closed Tuesday, January 27 and will reopen Wednesday, January 28. For details, please visit our calendar.

Begging Horses (Saukie)

Begging Horses (Saukie)
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".
Credit Line 
Purchased by the Society
Object Number 
inscriptions: Signed
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)"
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.
Creative: Tronvig Group