North American Indians
From 1831 to 1837, George Catlin traveled extensively among the native peoples of North America-from the Muskogee and Miccosukee Creeks of the Southeast to the Lakota, Mandan, and Pawnee of the West, and from the Winnebagos and Menominees of the North to the Comanches of eastern Texas. Studying their habits, customs, and modes of life, he made copious notes and numerous sketches of ceremonies, buffalo hunts, symbols, and totems. Catlin's unprecedented fieldwork culminated in more than five hundred oil paintings and his now-legendary journals, which, as Peter Matthiessen writes in his introduction, 'taken together...constitute the first, last, and only 'complete' record of the Plains Indians ever made at the height of their splendid culture, so soon destroyed by traders' liquor and disease, rapine and bayonets.'
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