Dressing a Buffalo Skin
Seth Eastman, an American soldier stationed intermittently at Fort Snelling near modern-day Minneapolis between 1830 – 1849, was commissioned by Congress to complete a series of maps and images of the Native inhabitants of the region. The engravings were collected in several volumes entitled, significantly, Information Regarding the History, Conditions, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Eastman was charged with providing the United States government an idea of what tribes out West looked like. This early engraving in particular is general enough that Eastman could be depicting either a Dakota or Anishinaabe village scene. The image is of a woman performing the mundane task of prepping and cleaning a hide next to a traditional tipi with a romanticized, most un-Minnesotan mountainous landscape in the background.