Watchetaker, George Smith "Woogie"

George Smith "Woogee" Watchetaker
Place of Birth: 
Elgin, OK.
Place of Death: 
Lawton, OK

Tribe(s)

 
Biography:
 
     As a teenager, George Smith "Woogee" Watchetaker was adopted into the family of the famous comanche war chief Quanah Parker. In 1935, Woogee attended the Haskell Indian School. He studied art under Olaf Nordmark. Woogee worked as a decorator, sign painter, lecturer, Indian dancer & a movie actor. Woogee made numerous television & movie appearances. He made his home in Elgin, OK.
     The five time National champion & the three time world champion Indian Dancer, Woogee was the only champion Indian Dancer to be officially recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Woogee was presented this recognition by secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. It was said that "(Woogee) danced the way he painted, with beauty, dignity & the power of the Comanche way."
     A nationally renowned Rainmaker, Woogee was frequently hired for his services by various cities during times of drought. Rain usually appeared after Woogee performed his Rainmaking Ceremony. A spiritual leader of the Comanche Tribe, Woogee was the leader of the Comanche delegation at the Smithsonian Institution's Bicentennial American Folklore Festlval in 1976. After a Command performance, Woogee Watchetaker was knighted by England's Queen Elizabeth.
     Woogee became a full-time painter in 1970. He painted in the traditional flat style, working in oil, watercolor & tempera. Woogee painted the lifestyle of the Comanche, including their dances & ceremonies.
     Woogee exhiblted extensively & won numerous awards at the American Indian Exposition (Anadarko, OK), the Trail of Tears Art show at the Cherokee National Museum (Tahlequah, OK), the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market (Phoenix, AZ), the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonials (Gallup, NM) & the Red Cloud Indian Art show (Pine Ridge, SD). Woogee also exhibited at the Native American Center for the Living Arts (Niagara Falls, NY), the Oklahoma Art Center Gallery (Oklahoma City, OK), the Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK) & the Scottsdale National Indian Art Exhibition (Scottsdale, AZ).
     Numerous private & public art collections in Switzerland, England, France & throughout the United States feature artwork by Woogee Watchetaker, including the United States Army Artillery & Missile Center Museum (Fort Sill, OK), the Heritage Center Inc. Collection (Pine Ridge, SD), the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN), the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History & Art (Tulsa, OK) & the Indian Arts & Craft Board of the United States Deptartment of the Interior (Washington, D.C.).
 
 
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