A Chief of the Multnomah Tribe

Artist: Hermon Atkins MacNeil (American, Everett, Massachusetts 1866–1947 Queens, New York)

Date: 1903; cast ca.1907

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 37 x 10 x 10 1/4 in. (94 x 25.4 x 26 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Bequest of Jacob Ruppert, 1939

Accession Number: 39.65.54a, b


In 1902 MacNeil received a commission for a monument, The Coming of the White Man, to be given to the city of Portland, Oregon. For his representation of two members of the Multnomah (Chinook) tribe of the Pacific Northwest, MacNeil grouped a standing chief and a crouching medicine man on a boulder-shaped pedestal, overlooking the Columbia River. The sculptor also modeled the chief on a reduced scale, adding a headdress, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. The figure is posed with great dignity, arms folded across his chest and chin raised proudly.