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Describing this painting Susan Hallsten McGarry wrote, “As the fur trade developed along the upper Missouri River, traders often traveled by keelboat. These shallow-draft craft could be propelled using sails, poles or oars. Language barriers between Native peoples and traders were overcome by music—a universal tongue that artist Karl Bodmer employed by entertaining his Native hosts with a music box during his 1833-1834 journey up the Missouri.”

[Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ, 1996]
Private Collection, Atlanta, GA
Private Collection, Tucson, AZ

Susan Hallsten McGarry, A Poetic Spirit: The Enduring Art of Kenneth Riley (Oklahoma City, OK: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 2003), page 17, illustrated

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