Picture of a Yankton Nakota Sioux

Native Indian Tribe

Picture of Yankton Nakota Sioux Native American - Description and Points of Interest

The name of the artist is George Catlin (1796-1872). The picture, depicting traditional dress,  provides the opportunity to study the culture and clothing of this Native American Indian.

The name of the Native Indian in the picture of the Yankton Nakota Sioux Indian is Toh-kí-e-to, Stone with Horns, a Chief of the Yankton Nakota Sioux. The picture of him raises different points of interest which increase knowledge and understanding of Native Indian tribes:

  • What materials have been used to make the clothes / headdress?
  • What ornaments or decorations are being worn?
  • What items or accessories is he holding?
  • What image does the picture convey? Intimidating or friendly?
  • Can you identify the group or the region the Native Indian belongs to?

The title we have given the picture reflects the name of the tribe, for ease of identification.

Description of the Picture
The artist of this painting, George Catlin, wrote the following to accompany this picture:

“the principal and most eloquent orator of the nation. The neck, and breast, and shoulders of this man, were curiously tattooed, by pricking in gunpowder and vermillion, which in this extraordinary instance, was put on in such elaborate profusion as to appear at a little distance like a beautifully embroidered dress. In his hand he held a handsome pipe, the stem of which was several feet long, and all the way wound with ornamented braids of the porcupine quills. Around his body was wrapped a valued robe, made of the skin of the grizzly bear, and on his neck several strings of wampum. … I was much amused with the excessive vanity and egotism of this notorious man, who, whilst sitting for his picture, took occasion to have the interpreter constantly explaining to me the wonderful effects which his oratory had at different times produced on the minds of the chiefs and people of his tribe.”

The Manners, Customs and Conditions of the North American Indians (1832 - 1839)
by George Catlin

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