|Title||CREE INDIAN, THE|
|Artist||Russell, Charles M. (1864-1926)|
|Dimensions||H-14.5 W-10.5 inches|
In 1901 Russell drafted a series of sixteen character sketches that have collectively become known as his "Western Types." Each features a full-scale portrait of a single, prototypical Westerner, augmented with a much smaller vignette executed beneath it to help provide context for that "type." Fourteen of the characters portrayed were men; the two females depicted were both Native American.
In this drawing, Russell depicted a Plains Cree man outfitted for hunting in a hooded capote made from a wool trade blanket. His snowshoes represent the classic Cree style: a frame composed of two pieces of ash or other hardwood joined at the bow and tail, and laced with rawhide webbing made from strips of moose or caribou hide. Up to six feet in length, Cree snowshoes were longer than most other traditional styles of Native American snowshoes and featured pointed tips with upturned toes. The accompanying vignette depicts a loaded dogsled, another form of winter transportation utilized by the Cree and other northern tribes.