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Brulé Sioux Chief Spotted Tail and his wife, "Mrs. Spot."
5 x 7.25 ins (image) 8 x 10 ins (mount)
Cowan Auctions, Inc
American History: Premier Auction, 26 June 2018, Lot: 387
Spotted Tail is seated on a stump with a pipe, blanket, and beaded tobacco bag, while his wife is seated at his feet, wearing a fringed dress and beaded necklace. Photograph captioned on mount, "Cin-te-gi-le-ska or Spotted Tail, - Great Chief of the Brulé Sioux, and the favorite "Mrs. Spot," -(one of three)." Inscriptions read "Dakotah Ty. 1874" at lower left and "Dah-ko-tahs" at lower right on mount.
Tribal Chief Spotted Tail (1823-1881) was a major figure in Sioux relations with the United States government during the latter half of the nineteenth century. He participated in the Grattan Massacre in 1854, but decided not to join in Red Cloud's War in the late 1860s, having determined that the Indians' armed resistance of white encroachment was largely futile. Instead, he took to speaking and negotiating on behalf of his tribe, including signing the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which established the Great Sioux Reservation. Spotted Tail traveled several times to Washington, D. C., mostly in the 1870s, to defend the rights of his people, especially to their land. He met with many important government officials during these trips including Commissioners of Indian Affairs Ely S. Parker and John Quincy Smith, and President Ulysses, S. Grant. Spotted Tail was, in the end, destroyed probably by his own fame and/or ego, as he was killed by a jealous sub chief, Crow Dog, after allegedly stealing the wife of a crippled man. Though he certainly made a name for himself in his own right, it is also possible that Spotted Tail was the uncle of the famed warrior, Crazy Horse, as two of his sisters were married to the elder Crazy Horse.