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A Look at the Spectacular Photograph Series – The American Indian

Edward Sheriff Curtis was a professional photographer who can be credited with creating one of the greatest collections of photographs of the indigenous tribes of North America.

He first photographed a Native American back in 1895, and over the following ten years he found himself travelling to states such as Alaska and Montano to take more photographs of the various tribes there.

JP Morgan would eventually approach Curtis about creating a documentary based on the tribes throughout the country, which he himself would finance. The series would be entitled The North American Indian.

Curtis travelled all across North America for 20 years, taking tens of thousands of images of various tribes. Yet he was guilty of setting up many of these to appear less real than they should. Despite being into the 20th century, he avoided taking images near modern settlements or devices, opting to frame them in a more basic tribal manner.

Much of the images looks like they belong a few centuries prior to the 1900s, and is a far cry from the modern lives the Natives were living at the time. He did however note down endless notes on the native language, folklore legends, songs and dances performed, as well as the histories of many tribes as told by the indigenous people themselves.

So to that end, you can appreciate the body of work he compiled, as it offers a look into the lives of Indigenous Americans that simply cannot be matched. (h/t: mashable)

A group of Navajo in the Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, 1904

North American Indian

Sioux chiefs, 1905

North American Indian

An Apsaroke mother and child, 1908

North American Indian

Luzi, of the Papago tribe, 1907

North American Indian

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

North American Indian

Hakalahl, a Nakoaktok chief, 1914

North American Indian

A Kwakiutl gatherer hunts abalones in Washington, 1910

North American Indian

Piegan girls gather goldenrod, 1910

North American Indian

A Qahatika girl, 1907

North American Indian

A young member of the Apache tribe, c. 1910

North American Indian

Eskadi, of the Apache tribe, 1903

North American Indian

Kwakiutl people in canoes in British Columbia, 1914

North American Indian

North American Indian

A Kwakiutl wedding party arrives in canoes, 1914

North American Indian

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