Mehkskéhme-Sukáhs (“Iron Shirt”), was the most distinguished of the several chiefs who gathered to welcome the arrival of the boat Flora at Fort McKenzie on 9 August 1833. At the time he was wearing a lace-trimmed scarlet uniform obtained from the British traders as a gift. He posed for this portrait on 11 August, wearing a hide shirt decorated with otter fur, beadwork and metal trade buttons. In his hair are feathers, a bear claw, and what appears to be a small ermine with blue beads for eyes.
This print is of a scale only equalled by Audubon's double-elephant folio images. On the verso is pencilled ‘Th. Fischer fecit / “Indianer”.’ Theodor Fischer had a well-established firm of lithographers in Cassel by 1875, and he could be the publisher of this work. It shows a number of differences to both the known published work and the original watercolor. To our knowledge it is the only 19th-century lithograph of Bodmer's pioneering ethnographic work, recording the soon to vanish life of the Plains tribes.
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