Miller defined this view as a “sketch” representing “an encampment of Shoshonee Indians, near Green River, Oregon. On the elevated ground, or bluff, are a group of Indians in painted robes.” (Ross, 129) Both Indians appear to be males, as one holds a bow and the other a quiver. In fact, all the figures are men. The topic of their conversation is not revealed but given the armaments, it was probably not about peaceful pursuits.
Compositions like this one with a hill on one side featuring a genre scene of large figures and, on the other side, a bird’s-eye view of a prairie floor below that relays a separate and diminutive narrative, are common for Miller. The figures below are, according to Miller, “preparing jerked meat,” a staple among Indians and trappers.
Peter H. Hassrick
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift