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WIND RIVER SHOSHONE PAINTED ELK HIDE
CADZI CODY
WIND RIVER SHOSHONE PAINTED ELK HIDE

CADZI CODY (1866-1912)

Details
WIND RIVER SHOSHONE PAINTED ELK HIDE
CADZI CODY (1866-1912)
Depicting a buffalo hunt and ceremonial dance with an American flag at the center. Painted in brown, red, yellow, blue and green pigments on soft, thin elk hide.
47¾ x 59 in. (121.3 x 150 cm.)
Literature
Alexander, Hartley Burr. Sioux Indian Painting Part 1: Paintings of the Sioux and Other Tribes of the Great Plains. C. Szwedzicki, Nice: 1938.
Stamm, Henry Edwin. People of the Wind River: the Eastern Shoshones, 1825-1900. University of OK Press, Norman: 1999. pg. 45
Wade, Edwin L. The Arts of the North American Indian: Native Traditions in Evolution. Hudson Hills Press, NY: 1986. p. 103

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Lot Essay

Cadzi Cody, or Cotsiogo (1866-1912), was a son of the renowned Shoshone leader, Washakie. He was a prolific artist on the Wind River Reservation at the turn of the 19th century. His most active period was from 1885 into the early 1900s. His father and a number of his brothers also produced hide paintings during this period. However, the number of hides attributable to his father, Washakie, is small by comparison, as he was advanced in years when he began painting and died in 1900.
Using elk or deer hide as his canvas Cadzi Cody used commercial and natural pigments to portray Shoshone life including the Wolf Dance, also referred to as the War Dance. Painted hides such as these have their roots in both ledger drawing and utilitarian hide paintings used as robes or for teepee walls. Such narrative paintings had an important function in Plains tribal society. They were often used to document winter counts, battles, ceremonies and other events within the tribe.
Notably, Cadzi Cody may have been one of the first commercial artists of his time among Plains peoples. As tourism in the west grew and whites traveled to witness the Sun Dance, Cadzi Cody tailored his imagery to meet the preferences of white consumers, favoring images of buffalo hunts, although hunting buffalo was no longer possible due to its eradication in the 1880s, and placing the American flag in the center of his paintings. At times his depictions were an amalgam of disparate events such as a Wolf Dance, Sun Dance, and buffalo hunt all on one hide, as if occurring simultaneously. In this way he included as many of the ommercially popular images as possible. Cadzi Cody was uniquely able to both portray native cultural identity and meet the demands of a paying clientele. Marketable themes were used increasingly toward the latter part of Cadzi Cody's productive years as his success as a commercial artist grew.
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