Portrait of a Mi’kmaw
Isaac Sprague (1811–1895)
Possibly New Hampshire, 1845–50
Watercolor on paper
15 ¾ x 12 ¾ in.
In the mid-nineteenth century when this watercolor was painted, the Mi’kmaq people (Mi’kmaw in the singular) continued to occupy areas of northern New England and southern Canada where they had lived for centuries. They still live in those areas today. Unlike many artists who painted romanticized views of Native Americans, Isaac Sprague, a protégé of the great naturalist John James Audubon, accurately recorded the details of this Mi’kmaw man’s clothing and environment.