“The North American Indian” photo series

1908 – An Apsaroke mother and child.
1907 – Luzi, of the Papago tribe

1900 – Piegan chiefs

1908 – Medicine Crow, of the Apsaroke tribe
1910 – A Wishran girl

1923 – A Hupa spear fisherman watches for salmon

1914 – A Qagyuhl woman wears a fringed Chilkat blanket and a mask representing a deceased relative who had been a shaman
1914 – Hakalahl, a Nakoaktok chief

1910 – A Kutenai duck hunter

1904 – Nesjaja Hatali, Navajo medicine man

1910 – Members of the Qagyuhl tribe dance to restore an eclipsed moon

1904 – Nayenezgani, a Navajo man
1910 – A Kwakiutl chief’s daughter

1900 – Iron Breast, a Piegan man
1908 – Black Eagle, an Assiniboin man


This gargantuan project was requested and financed by the wealthy businessman J.P. Morgan, who approached Curtis in 1906. The conclusion to this quest was a 20-volume series, called The North American Indian.

Even if Curtis meddled a bit with the subjects of his photos, posing them in more romanticized settings, stripped of any signs of Western civilization to archive the pre-Columbian look rather than the actual situation, it’s still a one-of-a-kind work, documenting the vanishing lifestyle that we probably won’t see ever again.

via Retronaut

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1 Comment

  1. Lynn Johnson December 1, 2017

    I could look at these pictures for hours…need more than just 3 pages, however. So where can I see the rest of the photos? Or at least more?? Really enjoyed this and Thank You.

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