Mr. G nom n CATLIN is an enterprising American artist,
who has de- voted seven years to the delineation of scenes and persons, and the collection of objects, to form a permanent record of the characteristic features and customs of the different tribes of Indians in North Amc- nea, now fast becoming extinct by the combined operation of small-
pox, spirit-drinking, and war. "I set out alone," he says, "unaided and unadvised, resolved, (if my life should be spared,) by the aid of my - brush and my pen, to rescue from oblivion so much of their primitive looks and customs as the industry and ardent enthusiasm of one life- thne could accomplish. * * * I have visited, with great difficulty and some hazard to life, forty-eight tribes, residing within the United States and British and "Mexican territories, containing about 300,000 souls. I have seen them in their own villages, have carried my canvass and colours the whole way, and painted my portraits, &c. from the life."
. The walls of a room 106 feet in length are entirely covered with portraits of Indian men, women, and children, in their re- spective costumes—some small whole-lengths, others busts the life size, to the number of three hundred and ten ; and two hundred views of landscape scenery, native villages, games, customs, and hunting- scenes, till painted on the spot. Besides the pictures, the dresses worn by several tribes, and a numerous collection of weapons, pipes, orna- ments, &e. are arranged round the room ; and in the centre is set up a wigwam of the "Crow" tribe—a conical tent twenty-five feet high, made of buffalo-skies dressed and painted, supported by thirty poles meeting at time top, and capable of sheltering eighty persons.
To attempt any thing like a detailed description of the contents of such a museum would require a volume ; to characterize it generally in our limited space is difficult. It ...amid require hours of attentive study to become fully acquainted with the multifarious articles. The several tribes are distinguished in the catalogue : the dresses are all so fantastic, and the physiognomies so varied, that it would be difficult to class them. The names of the originals are given, and in every case these are characteristic of personal qualities or exploits—as " He who strikes two at once," •"Phe Surrounder," •"fhe Constant Walker," " Roaring Thunder," " Bear-Catcher," " No Foul," " Black Dog," " No Heart," " Busy Mau," &e. The women are occasionally dis- tinguished by more agreeable appellations—as " Sweet-scented Grass,"
" &c. ; but the formidable attribute's of others are denoted by such names as " The "Woman who strikes many." The picture of " Pigeon's Egg Head"—a handsome and distinguished young warrior of the tribe of " Stone-Boilers," (No. -174)—presents a ludicrous instance of the effect of a visit to civilized society, thought terminating fatally: one side of the picture shows the chief in his Indian dress, in which be looks a commanding- figure, strange as arc his decorations to our eyes ; in the other he is strutting affing the s.reets of Washington, in a blue uniform and red feather in his hat. with a cigar in his mouth, a fan in one hand and an umbrella in the other, his long hair hanging in ropes down his hack, and a bottle of spirits sticking out of each
pocket. This poor fellow, on returning to his tribe with accounts of the wonderful sights he had seen, was accused of telling lies, like the White men, and put to death accordingly.
The (latices and other amusements appear any thing but gamesome; and the religious ceremonies of the Mandans, of which there are fbur scenes, are horrible in the extreme. It is their annual custom to as- semble the young men in the "Medicine," or "Mystery Lodge—the medicine-men are a sort of mixture of the doctor, priest, and sorcerer— and after being starved for noir days and nights, they are tortured in the most cruel manner to test their powers of endurance. The animal character. sharpened and sometimes ennobled by the influence of' moral qualities. is strongly expressed in all the heads.
'f he scenery on the 3lissouri and 'Mississippi is remarkable for the mixture of beauty and desolation. an an appearance of cultivation in the wildest tarts. 311'. CATLIN'S view, bear the impress of fidelity that belongs to pictures painted on the Tut : aaml tlivir freshness and characteristic spirit more than atone for any detects of eaccution. The scenes of buffido-hunting are full of namvement and energy and the groups of Indians are sketched with so much life and action, that the scene appears to pass before you. Numerous certificates attest the oc- cur:ley of the portraits and views. The roles and the tent-covering exhibit sona• curious specimens of the pictorial skill of the indians, being strongly defined, and with attention to the characteristic
which reminds one of the Egyptian and Mexican paintings ; the miilmon;.lnint se being. The dresses are very tastefully decorated will I -cads, fiat fliers, and skins: and the pipes, war-clubs, lances, bows, quiverse and shields. are profusely ornamented: the cradles are really lae.miful. Time love of colour and ornament, it di m el, is inherent in hum z:n nature.
Mr. CATLIN is about zo pal ish an account of his expedition. in which the various of jests in his museum will be more fully explained than in the catalogue previously to which he
intends giving a sent of lecture in the room, descriptive of the people. in the 111.2',.111 tinier a visit to this "Indian gallery " will give a more lively and distinct idea of the aborigines of North Anterica than a whole course of reading.