Tuesday, October 27, 2015

These 12 Vintage Photos of American Indians are Beautiful, Surreal, and Haunting

In 1895, photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis met a subject who would change his life and who would forever alter the way we see American Indians. Her name was Princess Angeline, and she was the daughter of Si’ahl, a powerful American Indian chief for whom the city of Seattle was named. By then she'd grown old, selling clams at markets to make ends meet. He asked to photograph her, paying a dollar per photo—and set himself on a decades-long course to document American Indian life.

With the backing of J.P. Morgan and Theodore Roosevelt, the photographer dedicated 30 years taking pictures of American Indians from the Arctic to Florida, depicting them as timeless figures untouched by modernity.

Curtis left behind an unparalleled cultural record of over 80 tribes, comprising some 40,000 photographs and over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of American Indian language and music. His twenty-volume opus The North American Indian, issued from 1907 to 1930, was among the most ambitious publishing feats of its time.

(via National Geographic)

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