The watercolor that Miller prepared for Walters is slightly less awkward than his earlier sketches (CR #394, for example). It shows the man slinking away from the scene of an encounter with one of his enemies holding the scalp-lock that he has just taken in his right hand. Miller viewed the man as representative of a warrior society, which argued that their young men would have no employment if they were to establish peace with their neighbors. “They point out to you their scalps and arms, and ask—‘Shall we throw these away, and become women?’” (Ross, 1968, text accompanying plate 192)
Many early writers have noted that losing one’s scalp did not necessarily mean death to the victim, who might continue to live with an embarrassing bald patch on his head, a continual embarrassment in Native American society and a reminder of his defeat.
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift