Wohaw drawing of tightrope walker

Collection ID:
Wohaw, 1855-1924
Pratt, Richard Henry, 1840-1924
ca. 1855-1877
Physical Description:
1 Drawing
graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor
12 x 18 cm.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The manuscript consists of one drawing of a tight rope walker. It is inscribed on the verso "Drawn by Wohaw Kiowa."It is from a set of 12 drawings donated by Captain Richard Pratt. Three of the drawings are now in the NAA (MS 30,740, 30,747, and 30,750) and 8 are now in the Graphic Arts collection of the National Museum of American History. The location of the twelfth drawing is not known.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Wohaw, also known as Wo-Haw, Beef, Gu hau de, and Wolf Robe, was a Kiowa born in 1855. He was accused of being a combatant in the Red River War of 1874 and 1875. On October 3, 1874, he surrendered at the Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency at Darlinton, Indian Territory. He was transferred to Ft. Sill, where he was held in the guard house. He was among the Kiowa warriors who were subsequently imprisoned at Ft. Marion in San Augustine, Florida. Following his release in 1878, Wohaw returned to the Indian Territory, arriving in Anadarko on May 1, 1878. He served in the Indian Police between 1879 and 1880 and in Troop L of the 7th U.S. Cavalry from 1891 to 1895. He was a member of the Ohomah society and is believed to have been an adherant of the Ghost Dance and Peyote religions. Wohaw died in Oklahoma in 1924. For further biographical information on Wohaw see Karen Daniels Petersen, Plains Indian Art from Fort Marion, University of Oklahoma Press, 1971 and Moira Harris, Between Two Cultures: Kiowa Art from Fort Marion, Pogo Press, 1989.
Biographical / Historical
Richard Henry Pratt had a long and varied military career, beginning as a soldier in the Civil War and participating in the Indian wars on the frontier. It was his work on the frontier that sparked Pratt's lifelong interests in the American Indian and spurred him to develop his infamous education system devoted to "civilizing" American Indian peoples. It was Pratt's Belief that the American Indian, although leading a savage and uncivilized life, was fully capable of being educated and absorbed into American society. Pratt gained support for this view when he commanded a group of seventy-two Indian prisoners at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1875. While at Fort Marion, Pratt encouraged the prisoners to draw and produce works of art, which he often collected and sold as tourist souvenirs. Some of the drawings he collected were later donated to museums around the country including the Smithsonian Institute and the Yale Library. Information on Pratt taken from http://webtext.library.yale.edu/xml2html/beinecke.PRATT.con.html. For more information about Richard Henry Pratt, see his autobiography Battlefield and Classroom; Four Decades with the American Indian, 1867-1904, 1964, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Biographical / Historical
Fort Marion, also known as Castillo de San Marco, is a stone fortress in St. Augustine, Florida. Between 1875 and 1878, seventy-two prisoners from the southern plains were incarcerated in the fort. Captain Richard Pratt supervised the prisoners during their incarceration at Fort Marion. The prisoners consisted of 27 Kiowas, 33 Cheyennes, 9 Comanches, 2 Arapahos, and a single Caddo. With the exception of one Cheyenne woman, all the prisoners were men. They had been accused of participating in the recent Red River War, earlier hostilities, or both. With the exception of the wife and daughter of one of the Comanche men, the prisoners families were not allowed to accompany them to Fort Marion. For further information on Fort Marion see Karen Daniels Petersen, Plains Indian Art from Fort Marion, University of Oklahoma Press, 1971 and Richard Pratt, Battlefield and Classroom, ed. by R. M. Utley, Yale University Press, 1964.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Pratt, R H Capt

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA INV 08500300
NAA MS 30750
OPPS NEG 88-19,335
OPPS NEG 92-11256

United States Florida Fort Marion.

Album Information
Album Information
MS 30750

Using the Collection
Manuscript 30750, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ledger drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kiowa Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Great Plains Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fort Marion artists Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746