"Big Snake, Blackfoot Chief from the Western Prairies," Peigan - ROM2010_11471_12


"Big Snake, Blackfoot Chief from the Western Prairies," Peigan

Maker: Paul Kane (1810 Mallow, Ireland–1871 Toronto, Canada)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Geography: Fort Pitt region, North Saskatchewan River, Saskatchewan, Canada
Date: 1849-1856
64.1 x 51.5 cm
Object number: 912.1.52
Credit Line: Gift of Sir Edmund Osler
Not on view
Description"We saw a large party of mounted Indians, riding furiously towards us. On their nearer approach they proved to be a large war party, consisting of Blackfoot Indians, Blood Indians, Sur-cees, Gros Ventres, and Pay-gans. . . . They immediately spread a buffalo skin for us to sit down upon, depositing all their arms, consisting of knives, guns, and bows and arrows, on the ground in front of us, in token of amity." "There was, however, one exception to this pacific demonstration, in the case of an Indian I had frequently heard spoken of before, named Omoxesisixany, “Big Snake.” This chief walked round the party, cracking and flourishing a whip, and singing a war song, evidently desirous of getting up a fight, and refusing to lay down his arms with the rest, although frequently requested to do so. At length, however, he put them down, and sat with the rest, and taking (though with evident reluctance) a few puffs from the pipe which was going the round of the party, in token of peace." (Paul Kane, "Wanderings of an Artist," 1859:417–418)
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