East Tucker Street, Bristol, England
This nocturnal scene reveals mourners tearing their clothes and cutting their hair in sympathy for a loved one. A couple of knives just catch the glint of fire light. The burial ground is likely Pilot Knob, overlooking the Minnesota River. The site captivated Seth Eastman and he painted it several times, but this scene may be the most emotional. The body of this loved one has been tied to a scaffold, safe from predators, and furnished with provisions. When the ground warms up, it may eventually be buried.
This watercolour, one of 35 works on paper by Eastman in Mia’s collection, was the basis for an illustration in Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s massive "Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States" (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1851-57).
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