Manabosho's Devices, 1849-1855

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Henry Rowe Schoolcraft reportedly collected these pictographs, which he named for the mythic Ojibwe character Manabosho, around Lake Superior. Although it is unclear how accurately the pictographs were transcribed, they were intended to describe a story, chant, or historical event.

Seth Eastman painted four sheets of pictographs as the basis for the illustrations in Schoolcraft's "Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States" (1851-57), and these original watercolors are among the 35 works on paper by Eastman in Mia’s collection.

Manabosho's Devices
Artist Life
Accession Number
James J. Hill (St. Paul, 1838-1916); his estate; James Jerome Hill Reference Library St. Paul (by 1921-1994; sold October, to MacMillan); W. Duncan MacMillan, Wayzata (1994-d. 2006); the W. Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation (2006-2014; given to MIA)
Catalogue Raisonne
Seth Eastman: A Portfolio of North American Indians 35b
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

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