Old Arrow Maker
- Edmonia Lewis, born Greenbush (now Rensselaer), NY 1844-died London, England 1907
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- Edmonia Lewis's Old Arrow Maker illustrates an excerpt from the Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in which the character Minnehaha plaits "mats of flags and rushes" while her father makes "arrow-heads of jasper." They both look up to greet Hiawatha, whose presence is implied by the deer he brought as a token of marriage. Lewis often created sculptures of Native Americans, and possibly chose the character of Hiawatha because he was from the Ojibwa tribe, like her mother. The coming together of the Ojibwa and Dakota tribes may refer to Lewis's hopes for reconciliation between the North and South after the Civil War. In the story, Hiawatha later marries Minnehaha with the wish that ". . . old feuds might be forgotten/ And old wounds be healed forever."
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- "At the doorway of his wigwamSat the ancient Arrow-maker…At his side, in all her beauty,Sat the lovely Minnehaha"
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Song of Hiawatha, first published 1855
- Credit Line
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Joseph S. Sinclair
- modeled 1866, carved 1872
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- Restrictions & Rights
- carved marble
- 21 1/2 x 13 5/8 x 13 3/8 in. (54.5 x 34.5 x 34.0 cm.)
- Painting and Sculpture
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Figure group
- Dress\ethnic\Indian dress
- Occupation\craft\arrow maker
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- Usage of Metadata (Object Detail Text)
- GUID (Link to Original Record)
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