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Nora Foote, an English artist, visited the Blood Reserve near Calgary, Canada, in 1895, and this portrait of a chief is one of several pictures she painted there. Red Crow (Mikai’sto) was the head chief of the Kainai people, one of the nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Red Crow was the first person from the Reserve to sit for Nora Foote. Usually he would have been wearing a blanket, but for this portrait he instead put on a scarlet coat with gilt buttons as a mark of his authority. The coat was a gift from the government on the occasion of treaty signing, in recognition of Red Crow’s position as chief. When Nora Foote finished the painting, she thanked her sitter with a gift of tobacco. She also gave tea and sugar to Red Crow’s wife, who then made her husband a cup of tea to refresh him after sitting for so long for his portrait.

The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford



Red Crow, Blood Indian Chief




oil on canvas


H 36 x W 29.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift, 1981

Work type



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The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

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