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Karl Bodmer's Illustrations to Prince
Maximillian of Wied-Neuwied's Travels in
the Interior of North America 1832-34
Published in Association with the
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska

Bodmer's America

Catalogue of Prints

Addih-Hiddisch a Minataree Chief [Item Image]
Engraved by Rene Rollet
Printed by Bougeard
Tableau 24. Addih-Hiddisch a Minataree Chief

Distinctive among Bodmer's North American Indian portraits is this likeness of a Minatari or Hidatsa chief named Addih-Hiddish, or "Road-Maker," the original of which was painted at Fort Clark in March, 1834. It presents a man less formally attired than most of Bodmer's Indian

A member of the council organized for the mutual defence of all the Hidatsa villages in the vicinity of Fort Clark, Addih-Hiddish was the keeper of the tribal medicine bundle and also boasted of an impressive military record. His portrait reveals an unusually extensive body tattooing covering the chest, right arm and hand, neck, and face, probably representing war exploits or battle coups.

He wears a hat of European manufacture topped with a coup feather and a buffalo-hide robe draped over his left shoulder, with the fur side turned in. Around his neck, partly covering a native neckpiece, hangs a large peace medal indicative of his political status among the Hidatsa. The scalp suspended on a hoop from the handle of his war axe or hatchet and the scalplock attached to the head of his weapon doubtless were trophies of war taken by Addih-Hiddish or his men.

His leggings are decorated with beaded strips edged with painted loops, which are thought to represent the number of horses he had captured or given away as presents. The bird designs on his moccasins may refer or relate to a vision he is said to have had, in which the sacred Thunderbird appeared to him, promising success in battle.

In the 1906 photo-facsimile of the atlas issued by Reuben Gold Thwaites, Addih-Hiddish was incorrectly identified as a Mandan.

For other Hidatsa subjects, see Vignette XXVI and Tableaux 17, 23, 26, 27.

Text by David Hunt, Director, Stark Museum, Orange, Texas, USA

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