Elk-Foot of the Taos Tribe

Taos leader
Nickname(s) Jerry Mirabal

Elk-Foot of the Taos Tribe is a 1909 painting which is considered to be the masterwork of E. Irving Couse.

The painting was purchased for the United States national art collection by the well-known art collector William T. Evans and is now displayed in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The painting measures 78 1/4 x 36 3/8 in. (198.6 x 92.4 cm.)[1]

Elk-foot, whose anglicized name was Jerry Mirabal, began posing for Couse in 1907 and was one of the painter's favorite subjects because of his "physical beauty and ideal features."[2]

The painting seems inaccurate, however. A coup stick would be carried by North Americans, but not by the Taos tribe. The blanket Elk-Foot wears is from England, and his moccasins were from Couse's studio, and weren't used during the Taos period.


  1. Couse, Eanger Irving. "Elk-Foot of the Taos Tribe". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  2. The Couse Foundation (1991). Eanger Irving Couse. The Albuquerque Museum, NM: The Albuquerque Museum. p. 132.
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