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May 18, 2022

Amazing Portraits of the Meskwaki Taken by Josephine Wallace in 1925

The Meskwaki Settlement is an unincorporated community in Tama County, Iowa, United States, west of Tama. This was part of the historic territory of the Meskwaki, an Algonquian people (they were known to English colonists and Americans as the Fox). Since 1857, when Meskwaki bought land here, it has been home to a sizable community of Meskwaki Indians. They are enrolled in the federally recognized Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, one of three Sac and Fox tribes in the United States. The others are located in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Meskwaki portraits Taken by Josephine Wallace in 1925

Josephine Martha Wallace (1867–1960) was the daughter of “Uncle Henry” Wallace, owner and editor of Wallaces Farmer magazine and aunt of U.S. Vice-President Henry A. Wallace. She lived and operated a studio in Des Moines, eventually moving to Tucson, Arizona in the 1930s where she continued her photography and also taught music classes.

According to information that appeared with their exhibition, these portraits by Wallace from State Historical Library and Archives of Iowa were taken at the Meskwaki Settlement (Tama, Iowa) in 1925 by special arrangement of Edgar R. Harlan, Curator of the Iowa State Department of History and Archives. Exhibit information further states: “Several of the Indians shown have never before been photographed. Miss Wallace is the only woman who has ever been present at certain of the tribal ceremonies.”

Albert Brown, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Albert Brown, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Albert Davenport, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Albert Davenport, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Charley Keosantuck with bow and arrow, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Dan Young Bear with saxophone, "Member of Orchestra", Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Ed Davenport with trombone, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Ed Davenport, "Orchestra Leader", Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Frank Young Bear, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

George Buffalo, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

George Young Bear, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Group of Meskwaki, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

James Poweshiek holding flute, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

James Poweshiek playing flute, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

James Poweshiek, "arrow and flute maker", Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

John Jones, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

John Young Bear, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki dancer, "The prize dancer of the Mesquakies", Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki dancers at Tama Pow-Wow, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki family: Frank and Mary Young Bear and children, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki family: Jonas Powehiek, wife and son, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki father and daughter: John Buffalo and Leila, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki father and son, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki girl playing with doll beside wickiup, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki girl Rose Lincoln Young Bear, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki man with bear claw necklace, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki man, "Son of Young Bear", Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki men: James Poweshiek (left) and Albert Brown, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki men: James Poweshiek (sitting) and Albert Brown, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki musicians, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki policeman Charles H. Chuck, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki woman "Mrs. Charley", may be Mrs. Charley Keosantuck, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki woman Ida Poweshiek Snowball beside wickiup, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki woman Poweshiek Snowball, "bead and feather maker", Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Meskwaki woman, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Thomas Scott with trumpet, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Unidentified Meskwaki with bow and arrow, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Unidentified Meskwaki, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Unidentified Meskwaki, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Unidentified Meskwaki, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

William Wanatee holding bow and arrows, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

Young Bear, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925.

Young Bear, Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa, 1925

(Photo © Josephine Wallace)




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