Vignette VIII. Cuttoff-River, Branch of the Wabash.
Mobile Tour Stop 1.
In the late summer of 1832, while staying in the small town of New Harmony, Indiana, Maximilian and Bodmer went almost daily to explore along the Fox and Wabash Rivers. Maximilian took detailed notes, Bodmer documented the area through sketches and watercolors, and they both spent time collecting specimens of plants and animals along the rivers.
Tableau 4. The Steamer Yellow-Stone, on the 19th of April, 1833.
Mobile Tour Stop 2.
On the afternoon of April 18, while traveling up the Missouri River, the steamboat Yellow-Stone encountered a stretch of water so densely packed with snags that it could not proceed any further under its own power. A flatboat from Fort Osage, located some three and a half miles upstream, eventually arrived to unload part of the ship's cargo to lighten it so it could float free. Bodmer waded ashore and from a distant bank made a sketch of the steamer.
Tableau 6. Snags (Sunken Trees) on the Missouri.
The Yellow-Stone, built to carry goods up and down the river for the American Fur Company, was the first steam-powered boat to travel to the far reaches of the Missouri. Steamboat travel ont he Missouri at this time was quite treacherous. Hidden sand banks, swift currents, and drifting tree trunks were among the dangers travelers faced.
Vignette XXXI. Bellevue, Mr. Dougherty's Agency on the Missouri.
Mobile Tour Stop 3.
Maximilian and Bodmer arrived at Major Dougherty's trade post in Bellevue on May 3, 1833. Major Dougherty was the indian agent to tribes native to Nebraska and Southwest Iowa. His outpost, like many of the commercial and government outposts along the Missouri, was a center for cultural as well as material exchange between Euro-Americans and Native Americans.
Tableau 8. Wahk-Ta-ge-li, a Sioux Warrior.
Mobile Tour Stop 4.
During their week long stay at Fort Pierre, Bodmer created portraits and scenes of everyday life among the Sioux tribe. This particular portrait is of a Wahk-Ta-ge-li, or "Gallant Warrior," a Sioux Warrior.
Tableau 9. Dacota Woman and Assiniboin Girl.
Mobile Tour Stop 5.
Maximilian and Bodmer encountered the Teton Sioux woman depicted in this print while staying at Fort Pierre. The young girl was sketched later, after the travelers were upriver at Fort Union. She was actually a Blackfoot but was living iwth the Assiniboins. She may have been taken captive after some skirmish between these two warring tibes.
Tableau 16. Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch, a Mandan Village.
Mobile Tour Stop 6.
Not far from Fort Clark, Maximilian and Bodmer encountered the principal summer village of the Mandan tribe, Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch. The larger of two Mandan villages, Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch stood atop a steep bluff on the west bank of the Missouri, and was located only 300 paces northwest of Fort Clark.
Tableau 31. Indians Hunting the Bison.
Mobile Tour Stop 7.
In the 1830's the buffalo was the staff of life for Plains Indians, providing food, clothing, and shelter. Nearly ever part of the buffalo was used. Maximilian and Bodmer witnessed a large number of buffalo moving toward the river while traveling from Fort McKenzie to Fort Union, and were present during a number of buffalo hunts. Hunts could take up to ten days, according to Maximilian. Once buffalo were spotted, the group of men swiftly pursued them, and from a short distance, shot the animals. Hunters often stood in their stirrups and shot from that position while running their horses at a full gallop.
Tableau 40. Herds of Bison, on the Upper Missouri.
Above Fort Union, game became plentiful and hunters from the boat were successful in supplying meat for passengers and crew.
Vignette XVIII. The Citadel-Rock on the Upper Missouri.
Mobile Tour Stop 8.
On the afternoon of August 6, the keelboat approached one of the more prominent landmarks on the banks of the Missouri in the region of the Stone Walls. In Bodmer's day it as known among the traders as La Citadelle, or Citadel Rock, and later as Cathedral Rock. Today it is a state monument.
Tableau 42. Fort McKenzie, August 28th, 1833.
Mobile Tour Stop 9.
On the morning of August 28, 1833, inhabitants at Fort McKenzie were awakened to the sound of gunfire. As Maximilian and Bodmer gathered to watch from rooftops, some 600 Assiniboin and Cree indians carried out a surprised attack on a small trading party of Blackfoot whose tipis were set up close by.
Tableau 43. Encampment of the Piekann Indians.
Mobile Tour Stop 10.
In this encampment of the Piekann (Blackfoot) Indians, about four hundred lodges were pitched close together on the flat near Fort McKenzie because enemy Assiniboins were reported to be in the area.
Vignette XXVI. Travelers Meeting with Minatarre Indians near Fort Clark.
Mobile Tour Stop 11.
On November 8, 1833, Toussaint Charbonneau, a French trapper who had traveled with the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804-1806, accompanies Maximilian and Bodmer downriver to Fort Clark. A meeting near the fort with a group of American Indians is depicted in this print.
Tableau 26. Winter Village of the Minatarres.
Mobile Tour Stop 12.
The village depicted in this print is most probably El
h-sa, the largest of the Hidatsa settlements on the Knife River. Plains farming tribes like the Hidatsa lived in more permanent living accomodations than did the groups who relied predominantely on hunting. They built good-sized earth lodges from heavy cottonwood timbers, willow branches, and sod.
Tableau 13. Mato-Top
, a Mandan Chief.
Mobile Tour Stop 13.
é, or Four Bears, was a prominent Mandan chief, popular among his people and respected for his many war exploits. Discussed at length in the writings of Maximilian and George Catlin, he was one of the best known Indian personalities of the early nineteenth century.
Tableau 18. Bison Dance of the Mandan Indians, in front of their Medicine Lodge, in Mih-Tutta-Hankusch.
Mobile Tour Stop 14.
This ceremonial dance was performed by members of the Buffalo Bull Society, one of the six men's societies within the Mandan tribe. In early April of 1834, the travelers observed a Buffalo Bull Dance. The practice of this dance meant to ensure the availability of sufficient amounts of buffalo to sustain the community.
Tableau 19. Interior of the Hut of a Mandan Chief.
Mobile Tour Stop 15.
While staying at Fort Clark over the winter of 1833-34, Bodmer visited the dwellings of an old and respected Mandan named Dip
uch, and later produced a watercolor view of its interior based on sketches he made of a period of several months. Maximilian and Bodmer learned much about the history and beliefs of the Mandan people while visiting Dip
uch. This print was later published in the European atlas to become one of Bodmer's best known subjects, highly valued for its ethnological detail.
Tableau 23. Pehriska-Ruhpa, Minatarre Warrior, in the Costume of the Dog Dance.
Mobile Tour Stop 16.
Pehriska-Ruhpa, or Two Ravens, was a principle leader of the Dog Society of his village, and in March of 1834 he posed for a portrait dressed in his society regalia. According to Maximilian, he was wearing at that time a large black cap made of magpie tail feathers with a wild turkey tail in the middle, a war whistle, and a long scarf-like cloth trailer.
Tableau 21. Indian Utensils and Arms.
Mobile Tour Stop 17.
Bodmer carefully renders every detail on the artifacts in this print, while also creating a visual balance of form, color, and composition, moving the eye easily across this beautiful rendering of objects. Attention to composition, however, does not come without sacrifice, and Bodmer chose to distort the scale of the objects in order to create a balanced composition.