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Medicine Man


Jerome Tiger (Muscogee, Seminole) frequently combined Flatstyle techniques with elements of realism in his narrative drawings and paintings. In this drawing, Tiger depicts an elderly Muscogee medicine man sitting on a hand-hewn wooden bench, his hands resting upon a shepherd’s crook cane. The man, wrapped in a blanket, wears calf-high leather boots, trousers, and a flat-brimmed wool hat with a single centered dimple on the crown. His perceptive eyes, framed by the wrinkles of age, hold the viewer’s gaze directly with a sense of knowing. Although the background is devoid of detail, we can infer from the man’s clothing and hat that the day is likely cold and sunny.

Medicine men and women hold essential roles within many Indigenous communities as caretakers for knowledge systems about collective health and well-being. The Tiger family had several medicine people within its kinship network, and they inspired the artist to create this drawing.

—Jordan Poorman Cocker, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Indigenous Painting Collection Research, 2021

This text was developed from an interview with artist Dana Tiger, daughter of Jerome Tiger, by Jordan Poorman Cocker, April 21, 2021

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Medicine Man
Jerome Tiger (Artist)
Native American; Muscogee (Creek), Seminole
pencil and gouache on paper
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Percy M. Johns
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
1977; 1327.1200; 33002
Not On View

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