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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Native Americans' Original Photos

Stunning pictures document the life of Native American Indians before the influence of Western settlers

These are the remarkable portraits of Native Americans before the influence of Western society tainted their tribes.
A century ago, photographer and ethnologist Edward S. Curtis embarked on a vast study of Native American peoples throughout the West.
Curtis, who worked mainly in Seattle, spent time with 80 different tribes over two decades and compiled more than 40,000 photographs.
Although Curtis was praised for his skill as a photographer, according to The Atlantic, the posed nature of the shots are often attacked by critics who say the images play up to stereotypes of Native American cultures.
Proud leader: Bull Chief, Apsaroke (Crow), ca. 1908
Proud leader: Bull Chief, Apsaroke (Crow), ca. 1908
Capturing history: Portrait of a Native American named Big Head, ca. 1905
Capturing history: Portrait of a Native American named Big Head, ca. 1905
Leader: Yellow Bull of the Nez Perce
Leader: Yellow Bull of the Nez Perce
Silent: A Hopi Girl, ca. 1905. She was one of many Native Americans photographer over two decades by Edward S Curtis
Silent: A Hopi Girl, ca. 1905. She was one of many Native Americans photographer over two decades by Edward S Curtis
Out in the West: Six Navajo on horseback, ca. 1904
Out in the West: Six Navajo on horseback, ca. 1904
Protecting a way of life: A Mojave man, wearing a robe of rabbit skin, ca. 1907
Protecting a way of life: A Mojave man, wearing a robe of rabbit skin, ca. 1907
Focus: A young Yakima man stares straight into the camera wearing shell disk earrings, ca. 1910
Focus: A young Yakima man stares straight into the camera wearing shell disk earrings, ca. 1910

Dreams: A young native American Zosh Clishn, who belonged to the Apache, photographed in 1906
Dreams: A young native American Zosh Clishn, who belonged to the Apache, photographed in 1906
Tradition: Bear Bull uses an ancient Blackfoot method to style the hair
Tradition: Bear Bull uses an ancient Blackfoot method to style the hair
Northern exposure: Jajuk, Selawik from northwestern Alaska, ca. 1929, keeps warm inside traditional furs
Northern exposure: Jajuk, Selawik from northwestern Alaska, ca. 1929, keeps warm inside traditional furs
Honor: A Navajo man in ceremonial dress as Nayenezgani, a Navajo deity. Tobadzischini, Yebichai war god, in 1904. The photographer was able to get close to tribes over 20 years
Honor: A Navajo man in ceremonial dress as Nayenezgani, a Navajo deity. Tobadzischini, Yebichai war god, in 1904. The photographer was able to get close to tribes over 20 years
Making his mark: Sitting Owl from the Hidatsa tribe in 1908
Making his mark: Sitting Owl from the Hidatsa tribe in 1908
Innocence: A Taos girl, ca. 1905 is pictured looking straight into the camera, wrapped in a blanket
Innocence: A Taos girl, ca. 1905 is pictured looking straight into the camera, wrapped in a blanket
Fierce: Nunivak Island man, wearing headdress with a wooden bird head in front, ca. 1929
Fierce: Nunivak Island man, wearing headdress with a wooden bird head in front, ca. 1929
Haunting: Many of the images have been stpred for more than a century at the Library of Congress including this shot of Mosa from the Mojave in 1903
Haunting: Many of the images have been stpred for more than a century at the Library of Congress including this shot of Mosa from the Mojave in 1903

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