[Plate] SHAR-I-TAR-ISH. A Pawnee Chief. [From HISTORY OF THE INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA]

([Philadelphia: J. T. Bowen, 1841]).

An original handcoloured PLATE FROM 'One of the most costly and important works ever published on the American Indians' -Field. A famous Pawnee chief, Shar-I-Tar-Ish led his people during the early part of the 19th century. Historically, the Pawnee lived in Nebraska and Kansas. In the Pawnee language, the Pawnee people refer to themselves as Chatiks si chatiks or "Men of Men".
The Pawnee lived in villages of earth lodges with adjacent farmlands near the Loup, Republican, and South Platte rivers where tribal economic activities throughout the year alternated between farming crops and hunting buffalo.
In the early 19th century, the Pawnee numbered more than 10,000 people and were one of the largest and most powerful tribes in the west. Although dominating the Loup (ickari ) and Platte (kíckatuus) river areas for centuries, they later suffered from increasing encroachment and attrition by their numerically superior, nomadic enemies: the Sioux (or Lakota (páhriksukat / paahíksukat) ("cut throat / cuts the throat"), Cheyenne (sáhe / sáhi), and Arapaho (sári itihka) ("dog eater"); the Pawnee called these collectively as cárarat ("enemy tribe") or cahriksuupiíru ("enemy"). The Pawnee were occasionally at war with the Comanche (raaríhta ) and Kiowa (ká iwa) farther south. They had suffered many losses due to Eurasian infectious diseases brought by the expanding Europeans, and by 1860, the Pawnee population was reduced to 4,000. It further decreased, because of disease, crop failure, and warfare, to approximately 2,400 by 1873, after which time the Pawnee were forced to move to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Many Pawnee warriors enlisted to serve as Indian scouts in the US Army to track and fight their tribal enemies resisting European-American expansion on the Great Plains.
The lithographs from McKenney and Hall’s HISTORY OF THE INDIAN TRIBES OF NORTH AMERICA are not only amongst the greatest hand-coloured American illustrated plates of the 19th century, but are also an American cultural treasure providing an historical record of the portraits of the chiefs, warriors and women of the various tribes. The lithographs are faithfully produced from original oil paintings either by Charles Bird King painted from life in his studio in Washington or reproduced by King from the watercolours of the famous frontier artist James Otto Lewis as well as a few other artists. Item #29826

Printed and hand-coloured at J.T. Bowen’s Lithographic Establishment. A beautifully lithographed colour plate reproduced from an original oil by Henry Inman based on an original painting by Charles Bird King. Folio, the folio sheet now handsomely mounted and framed, the mounting with a wood trimmed beveled edge on tan cloth-covered board, this in a handsome black and red wooden frame gilt covered, glazed. The complete presentation being 23 x18 inches. A very fine, fresh and clean plate with rich colour, the presentation and framing all very fine and very handsome.

Price: $1,650.00