PITATAPIU, BOWLANCE WARRIOR

Pitatapiu was an Assiniboin, a tribe that was once part of the Sioux Nation.  Pitatapiu was painted by Karl Bodmer at Fort Union in 1833.

This piece is a little unusual for the series because, unlike the others, Pitatapiu was dressed in his warrior clothing instead of his finery for this portrait. He is also holding a bowlance, a powerful and special ceremonial accoutrement which signifies that he belongs to an elite society.  

It is possible that the original painting may be the only example of an Indian holding a bowlance. It was noted that the bowlance was decorated with bear entrails.  

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Uploaded to: Bronze Sculptures - Bodmer/Catlin Series

 

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