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Colin F. Taylor, Ph. D.


Catlinís O-kee-pa

Mandan Culture and Ceremonial

The George Catlin O-kee-pa Manuscript in the British Museum

Foreword by Prof. W. Raymond Wood, University of Missouri-Columbia


The O-kee-pa ceremony of the Mandan was the most important ritual of this influential nation. It represents a religious ceremonial of outstanding significance in this tribeís culture. George Catlin, highly esteemed as a picture chronicler of the Native Americans in the 19th century, was one of the few white men ever permitted to observe the entire O-kee-pa ceremony. He never published his full impressions for the general public. Thus, Catlinís first public account of 1841 obscured many details. However, he later documented his observations in a manuscript which consisted of 8 detailed water colours and 10 hand-written pages of explanations for limited circulation due to the nature of the material. This manuscript which was finally presented to the British Museum, was deemed by Catlin for men of science only. Now, the British Museum has allowed the publication for the first time of the entire manuscript for this scientific study.


From the contents: History and Culture of the Mandan (Mandan Villages, Early History, Lifestyle, Dress, Decorated Buffalo Robes, Headdresses, Household Industries) - Mandan Ceremonial (Religion, Sacred Enclosures, the Medicine Lodge, The Sacred Shrine, The Sacred Turtle Drums, The Medicine Pipe, The Lone Man Bundle and Regalia) - The pirated O-kee-pa version of 1865, reprinted for the first time - Catlinís Protest - The George Catlin Manuscript in the British Museum (completely published for the first time) (Discussion) - Mandan Country Today - Footnotes, Bibliography, Index.


Anthropologists rank this volume as Colin Taylorís most significant scholarly work and recognized it in many reviews as a standard reference work on Native American culture!

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172 pp, 8 coloured plates and 10 hand-written pages by George Catlin, additionally about 60 figs., including 10 in colour. Size 21 x 27 cm. Hardbound. Bilingual edition (English-German)

ISBN 3-89510-050-1


 80.00 US-$