Palaanswa ‘Francis Godfroy’ ca. 1826

James Otto Lewis (American, 1799-1858)
Palaanswa ‘Francis Godfroy’, ca. 1826
Lithograph on paper
Miami University Art Museum purchase, 2008.1

The son of Myaamia woman Saakacaahkwa and Frenchman Jacques Godfroy, Palaanswa served his community as both a war leader and a civil chief. After the War of 1812, he followed in his parents’ footsteps to become a successful fur trader. James Otto Lewis likely painted this portrait of Palaanswa at the Treaty of the Wabash in 1826. Note the legging flap running down his leg and the tiny strips of color on this moccasin flaps. Both of these were probably geometric ribbonwork, but the artist likely struggled to depict the diamond shapes.