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Chualpays Scalp Dance

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Chualpays Scalp Dance

Artist: Paul Kane (Canadian, 1810 - 1871)

Date: 1846
Medium: watercolor and pencil on paper
Dimensions:
5 3/8 x 9 1/2 inches (13.7 x 24.1 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Inscribed: 115 (reverse in red ink); 128 PK / 1922 / squach gun an [illegible] (reverse); Chualpay Scalp / Dance - Ft. Colville (lower left)
Signed: Paul Kane 1846 (lower right)
Credit Line: Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965
Object number: 31.78.31
WWC-Western Watercolor: wwc31
Accession Number: 1965.2.851
Catalogue Raisonne: IV 322
Label Text:"A few days before leaving Colville I was informed that the Chualpays were about to celebrate a scalp dance, and accordingly I took my sketch-book and went down to their encampment, where I learned that a small party had returned from a hunting expedition to the mountains, bringing with them as a present from a friendly tribe, the scalp of a Blackfoot Indian. This to them was a present of inestimable value, as one of their tribe had been killed by a Blackfoot Indian two or three years before, and they had not been able to obtain any revenge for the injury. This scalp, however, would soothe the sorrows of his widow and friends. Accordingly, it was stretched upon a small hoop, and attached to a stick as a handle, and thus carried by the afflicted woman to a place where a large fire was kindled: here she commenced dancing and singing, swaying the scalp violently about and kicking it.... Kane, Wanderings, XX
Provenance: Artist; by descent to his grandson, Paul Kane III [1889-1958], Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; purchased September 17, 1957 through (Edward Eberstadt & Sons, New York, New York) by H.J. Lutcher Stark [1887-1965]; bequeathed September 2, 1965 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art
Terms
  • Columbia River