BEAR'S OIL

 

Menominee Brave

 

Bear's Oil (Ma-ko-me-ta), was painted by Lewis probably at the Treaty of Butte des Morts, held at Butte des Morts (Wis.) in 1827.

Lewis lived in Detroit in the 1820s and was retained by the U.S. Government to paint portraits of Native Americans visiting the city and to attend treaty councils in the Great Lakes Region between 1825 and 1827 to record the proceedings and participants.

Some of these portraits were sent to McKenney and subsequently appeared in the History.

Lewis himself published his portraits in The Aboriginal Port-Folio which first appeared in 1835, thus predating the McKenney & Hall work.

Lewis related that Bear's Oil distinguished himself at an early age by managing to escape with his father from the hands of their Winnebago captors.

Hall reported that Makomete's name was a badge of esteem because bear oil was not only useful to Native Americans, but also considered a great delicacy.

He apparently visited Washington, D.C. with a Menomene delegation in 1830-1831.