"Looking at the Sun" (Sioux)

Object Number: 
1872.23.175
Date: 
1866-68
Medium: 
Graphite and black ink on prepared card
Dimensions: 
Overall: 18 3/8 x 24 1/8 in. ( 46.7 x 61.3 cm )
Marks: 
inscriptions: Signed
Inscriptions: 
Signed at lower right inside image in black ink: "Geo. Catlin"; inscribed at upper center outside image in black ink over graphite: "Pl. 175. / 'Looking at the Sun' (Sioux)"
Description: 
Ethnography. Studies of Native Americans: a ritual undertaken by a young man who desires to become a medicine man, tribal doctor and spiritual leader. The tribe encircles a man standing near a flexible pole hung with buffalo skulls and attached by two tethers with hooks to his chest muscle. The man holds an animal pelt-probably his ritual 'medicine bag', and a bow and arrow and must stare unceasingly into the sun from dawn until dusk without falling while men play drums and rattles nearby. If he stands, all agree he possesses "great medicine"; if he falls, he is disgraced
Credit Line: 
Purchased by the Society
Provenance: 
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