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Fancy Eagle, the Last of the Pawnee Scouts / Brummett Echohawk


“I can tell you about the Pawnee Scouts who served the United States government during the Indian Wars. I can tell you because Grandpa Echo Hawk was one of them. . . . Some of the Pawnee Scouts I saw and remembered. Others I knew by reputation. Still others were legendary. . . . Our people held the Pawnee Scouts in great respect.”1

—Brummett Echohawk

The drawing Fancy Eagle, the Last of the Pawnee Scouts depicts a revered Pawnee warrior, Latah-Cots-Kah-Lahara (Fancy Eagle), whose English name was Rush Roberts (1859–1958). At sixteen or seventeen, Fancy Eagle was the youngest of the Pawnee Scouts2 recruited by Major Frank North for the U.S. Army in 1876. The inscription at the bottom of the portrait reads:

“Latah-Cots-Kah-Lahara” (Fancy Eagle) Rush Roberts, the last of the Pawnee Scouts, Indian wars. Born on the plains of Nebraska, November 1859, while his people, the Pawnees, were on a buffalo hunt. Died March 13, 1958."

From his first World War II combat sketches, which depict the honest, visceral reality of war, Brummett Echohawk was recognized for his ability to capture scenes and people in ways that feel very true to life. After the war, he treated the subjects of his portraits with the same honesty, evident in this sensitive, intimate portrayal of Fancy Eagle at ninety-six.

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

This text was developed from an interview with author and attorney Walter Echohawk, nephew of Brummett Echohawk, by Jordan Poorman Cocker, June 21, 2021


1 Echohawk, “Recollections of the Pawnee Scouts,” 26.

2 Pawnee Scouts were employed by the U.S. Army between the 1860s and 1870s. They served as highly skilled intelligence resources during the western expansion of U.S. territories.

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Fancy Eagle, the Last of the Pawnee Scouts
Brummett Echohawk (Artist)
Native American; Pawnee
graphite on paper
Landscape; single-sided 0.400mm Cream colored paper. Machine made. Even distribution of fibers in transmitted light.
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Artist
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
TL2009.18; 1327.365; 19977
Not On View

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