Hogan'-Lu'Ta (Red Fish), “Custer as a White Man”

Hogan'-Lu'Ta (Red Fish)
Plate 151, Fort Yates Collection, Edward E. Ayer Collection, Newberry Library.

Painting on paper by the Native American artist Red Fish. The hand written caption, believed to be by Aaron McGaffey Beede who commissioned the work, reads “Custer as a white man/made by Red Fish/Indians believe Custer/has the “tonj” of an Indian.” The word “tonj” was usually translated as “spirit” in the 19th century, suggesting that Native Americans respected Custer as a fallen warrior. Another image by Red Fish (image #50) shows “Custer as a Comanche.”

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