Miller claimed that the Indians,
when hunting [the buffalo], are much more influenced by the capability of his skin to be made into a good robe than by the apparent tenderness of the meat for eating. A party here have killed an animal, and in their exultation are sounding a yell of triumph and of victory. One of them, to be more emphatic, or to give the key-note, stands on the animal. No description can give an idea of this wild, ear-piercing shriek; it is something quite unearthly. (Bell, 1973, p. 132)
Miller explained that the yell was “a species of requiem to the Buffalo for the game quality he has exhibited, but mainly…an act of self-glorification for giving the Coup de grace to the bull.” (Ross, 1968, text accompanying plate 151) Three of the four Indians depicted in the sketch are participating in the yell; the fourth one, leaning on his rifle, appears to be looking more sorrowfully at the valiant beast.
UL: Yell of Triump [sic]
The artist; The Porter Collection; Mae Reed Porter, Kansas City, MO; [M. Knoedler and Company, New York, NY]; InterNorth Art Foundation, Omaha, NE; present owner