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Karl Bodmer's Sih-Chida & Mahchsi-Karehde. Mandan Indians. stands as a quintessential exemplar of 19th-century ethnographic art. This magnificent hand-colored aquatint, etching, and mezzotint offers an intimate glimpse into the traditional dress and culture of the Mandan Indians, a testament to the richness and vibrancy of indigenous cultures.

In the early 1830s, Swiss painter Karl Bodmer embarked on a historic expedition into the American West alongside German explorer Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied. Their shared ambition was to document the people, landscapes, and wildlife they encountered along their journey. This expedition would become a seminal moment in ethnographic art and natural history, significantly contributing to the understanding of Native American societies. It was during their winter stay at Fort Clark, a significant trading post in what is now North Dakota, where they encountered and interacted with the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. 

At the heart of this engrossing tableau is the striking figures of Sih-Chida & Mahchsi-Karehde, members of the Mandan society. Depicted in their traditional dress, frozen mid-pose, the warriors project an overwhelming feeling of peace. The striking static image is charged with an invigorating energy that permeates the boundaries of time and space.

Each intricate detail of the warriors' attire captivates the viewer, an invitation to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of the Mandan culture. This accurate rendering of details not only illuminates the aesthetics of the Mandan but also provides invaluable ethnographic insight.

Ultimately, the significance of Bodmer's masterpiece extends beyond its aesthetic allure; it is a critical cultural artifact that sheds light on an often-overlooked historical era. 

Condition Description
Aquatint, etching, and mezzotint, hand-colored and heightened with gum arabic. Bodmer blindstamp below the neatline.
Ruud, Karl Bodmer's North American Prints, pages 150-155.