Here Miller paints another version of the same portrait from the Walters collection. In keeping with the more ethnographic flavor of the Brown watercolors, Miller includes greater specificity in his rendering of Ma-wo-ma’s accoutrements. There is more definition of textures between the light feathers in the hair bow and the hard, shiny bear claws of his necklace. The quill or bead work designs are also better defined. These details, however, do not connote greater accuracy, as Miller has changed the color and design of Ma-wo-ma’s hair bow and shirt sleeves.
Like many Plains men, Ma-wo-ma created heraldic paintings. Miller copied one and later appended a version to the back of Ma-wo-ma’s portrait. Miller’s accompanying commentary gives fascinating insight into the way he viewed Plains art. Expecting that all artwork should be mimetic, Miller criticized Ma-wo-ma’s drawing because it lacked the illusion of linear perspective and portrayed a figure’s size relative to its importance. Miller was also surprised that Ma-wo-ma preferred to paint with the handle, rather than the bristles of the brush.
LR: AJMiller Pt. LL on mat: No. 13./Ma-wo-ma./?Little Chief.’
The artist; Alexander Brown, Liverpool, England, 1867; by descent to Mrs. J.B. Jardine, Chesterknowes, Scotland; present owner by gift