Wak-Tae-Geli, A Sioux Warrior (Wahk-Ta-Ge-Li) by Karl Bodmer

Wak-Tae-Geli, A Sioux Warrior  (Wahk-Ta-Ge-Li) by Karl Bodmer

Wak-Tae-Geli, A Sioux Warrior (Wahk-Ta-Ge-Li)

Karl Bodmer

Title

Wak-Tae-Geli, A Sioux Warrior (Wahk-Ta-Ge-Li)

 
Artist

Karl Bodmer

  1809 - 1893 (biography)
Year
1839 -43 
Technique
hand colored engraving and aquatint, heightened with gum arabic 
Image Size
16 x 11" image 
Signature
beneath image: “Peint d'apres nat. par Ch. Bodmer”; blindstamp: "C. Bodmer / Direct" 
Edition Size
circa 300 
Annotations
Wak-Te-Geli / Dacota-Kreiger / Guerrier Dacota ou Sioux 
Reference
Tableau 8; Thomas/Ronnefeldt pp. 27-28, illus: page 45 
Paper
heavy cream wove 
State
published proof 
Publisher
no publishers noted on this impression; Coblenz (Ger.) Ackermann (Eng.) Bertrand (Fr.) 
Inventory ID
17750 
Price
$6,500.00 
Description

From the portfolio “Travels in the Interior of North America Between 1832 and 1834” by Prince Maximilian of Weid, Germany, after Bodmer's watercolors. Portfolio consisted of 48 folio size and 31 vignettes. Originally titled in German, French (as this) and English. There is a blindstamp: “C. Bodmer/Direct”.

This is a fine full-length portrait carried out by Bodmer at the Sioux agency in May 1833: both the pose and the attitude of the subject are reminiscent of numerous portraits of European nobility, and with good reason: Wahk-Tä-ge-Li was a six foot six inch Yankton Sioux chief, a man of power and substance. His Sioux name meant `Gallant Warrior' and he was known to the Americans as `Big Soldier'.

He was about sixty years old at the time of his portrait, and is shown wearing moccasins, leggings, and shirt embroidered with band of brightly dyed porcupine quills. The fringe on the shirtsleeve is human hair from a Mandan foe. The feathers bound to his head represent enemies slain in battle. In his ears he wear long strings of blue glass beads, and around his neck hangs a large peace medal presented by the government. His robe is tanned to an unusual whiteness and in his hand is the pipe-tomahawk that he would smoke occasionally during the two days he posed for Bodmer.