Rare 1900s Photos Capture How Native Americans Lived 100 Years Ago.

Rare 1900s Photos Capture How Native Americans Lived 100 Years Ago.

Native American culture is rich with magical customs and captures the spirit of living free, but during the 20th century it was quickly vanishing. Because of this, Edward Sheriff Curtis dedicated decades of his life to capturing and recording the lifestyle of indigenous tribes in North America and his extensive work includes some of the most captivating photos from that era.

In 1906, wealthy financier and banker J.P. Morgan provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on Native Americans. Together they produced a 20-volume series, called The North American Indian. Edward spent more than 20 years traveling across the continent and made over 40,000 images of over 80 tribes. He also recorded songs and language, transcribed oral stories and biographies.

Curtis’ methods to record the disappearing way of life were later criticized by some anthropologists. He occasionally posed individuals from unrelated tribes in the same clothing, removed them from natural settings and used overly romantic ones, and so on. Nonetheless, his work still features a lot of authenticity and is regarded as one of the biggest Native American research.

#1 A Klamath Chief Stands On A Hill Above Crater Lake, Oregon, 1923

A Klamath Chief Stands On A Hill Above Crater Lake, Oregon, 1923

#2 An Apsaroke Man On Horseback, 1908

An Apsaroke Man On Horseback, 1908

#3 A Jicarrilla Girl, C. 1910A Jicarrilla Girl, C. 1910

#4 A Group Of Navajo In The Canyon De Chelly, Arizona, 1904A Group Of Navajo In The Canyon De Chelly, Arizona, 1904

#5 An Apsaroke Mother And Child, 1908An Apsaroke Mother And Child, 1908

#6 Sioux Chiefs, 1905Sioux Chiefs, 1905

#7 A Nootka Man Aims A Bow And Arrow, 1910A Nootka Man Aims A Bow And Arrow, 1910

#8 A Tewa Girl, 1906A Tewa Girl, 1906

#9 Black Eagle, An Assiniboin Man, 1908Black Eagle, An Assiniboin Man, 1908

#10 Piegan Tepees, 1910Piegan Tepees, 1910

#11 Hollow Horn Bear, A Brulé Man, 1907Hollow Horn Bear, A Brulé Man, 1907

#12 Mohave Woman, 1903Mohave Woman, 1903

#13 Apache Girl And Papoose, 1903Apache Girl And Papoose, 1903

#14 A Kwakiutl Wedding Party Arrives In Canoes, 1914A Kwakiutl Wedding Party Arrives In Canoes, 1914

#15 Nakoaktok Dancers Wear Hamatsa Masks In A Ritual, 1914Nakoaktok Dancers Wear Hamatsa Masks In A Ritual, 1914

#16 Eskadi, Of The Apache Tribe, 1903Eskadi, Of The Apache Tribe, 1903

#17 A Kwakiutl Shaman Performs A Religious Ritual, 1914A Kwakiutl Shaman Performs A Religious Ritual, 1914

#18 Apache Woman, 1906Apache Woman, 1906

#19 A Smoky Day At The Sugar Bowl, 1923A Smoky Day At The Sugar Bowl, 1923

#20 A Qagyuhl Man Dressed As A Bear, 1914A Qagyuhl Man Dressed As A Bear, 1914

#21 Walpi Maidens, 1906Walpi Maidens, 1906

#22 A Qahatika Girl, 1907A Qahatika Girl, 1907

#23 Navajo Man, 1904Navajo Man, 1904

#24 Crow Encampment With Tipis, Tents, Wagons, Horses And Men As Seen From The Distant Shore Of The River, 1908Crow Encampment With Tipis, Tents, Wagons, Horses And Men As Seen From The Distant Shore Of The River, 1908

#25 Maricopa Child, 1907Maricopa Child, 1907

#26 Navajos, 1905Navajos, 1905

#27 A Qagyuhl Woman Wears A Fringed Chilkat Blanket And A Mask Representing A Deceased Relative Who Had Been A Shaman, 1914A Qagyuhl Woman Wears A Fringed Chilkat Blanket And A Mask Representing A Deceased Relative Who Had Been A Shaman, 1914

#28 Piegan Girls Gather Goldenrod, 1910Piegan Girls Gather Goldenrod, 1910

#29 A Koskimo Man Dressed As Hami (“dangerous Thing”) During A Numhlim Ceremony, 1914A Koskimo Man Dressed As Hami ("dangerous Thing") During A Numhlim Ceremony, 1914

#30 A Hidatsa Man With A Captured Eagle, 1908A Hidatsa Man With A Captured Eagle, 1908

#31 Medicine Crow, Of The Apsaroke Tribe, 1908Medicine Crow, Of The Apsaroke Tribe, 1908

#32 Hakalahl, A Nakoaktok Chief, 1914Hakalahl, A Nakoaktok Chief, 1914

#33 Indian Woman Holding Rushes, 1908Indian Woman Holding Rushes, 1908

#34 A Young Member Of The Apache Tribe, C. 1910A Young Member Of The Apache Tribe, C. 1910

#35 Apsaroke Man Wearing Medicine Hawk Headdress, 1908Apsaroke Man Wearing Medicine Hawk Headdress, 1908

#36 A Wishran Girl, 1910A Wishran Girl, 1910

#37 The Primitive Artists-paviotso, 1924The Primitive Artists-paviotso, 1924
#38 A Kwakiutl Gatherer Hunts Abalones In Washington, 1910A Kwakiutl Gatherer Hunts Abalones In Washington, 1910

#39 A Kwakiutl Man Wearing A Mask Depicting A Man Transforming Into A Loon, 1914A Kwakiutl Man Wearing A Mask Depicting A Man Transforming Into A Loon, 1914

#40 A Hupa Spear Fisherman Watches For Salmon, 1923A Hupa Spear Fisherman Watches For Salmon, 1923

#41 Kwakiutl People In Canoes In British Columbia, 1914Kwakiutl People In Canoes In British Columbia, 1914

#42 Ron Breast, A Piegan Man, 1900Ron Breast, A Piegan Man, 1900

#43 Okuwa-tsire, Also Known As “cloud Bird,” Of The San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1903Okuwa-tsire, Also Known As "cloud Bird," Of The San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1903

#44 A Cahuilla Woman, 1924A Cahuilla Woman, 1924

#45 A Kwakiutl Chief’s Daughter, 1910A Kwakiutl Chief's Daughter, 1910

#46 Members Of The Qagyuhl Tribe Dance To Restore An Eclipsed Moon, C. 1910Members Of The Qagyuhl Tribe Dance To Restore An Eclipsed Moon, C. 1910

#47 Iahla, Also Known As “willow,” Of The Taos Pueblo, 1905Iahla, Also Known As "willow," Of The Taos Pueblo, 1905

#48 Luzi, Of The Papago Tribe, 1907Luzi, Of The Papago Tribe, 1907

#49 Qagyuhl Dancers, 1914Qagyuhl Dancers, 1914

#50 A Kutenai Duck Hunter, 1910A Kutenai Duck Hunter, 1910

#51 Kwakiutl People In Canoes In British Columbia, 1914

Kwakiutl People In Canoes In British Columbia, 1914
#52 An Apache Man, C. 1910

An Apache Man, C. 1910
#53 A Hupa Woman, 1923

A Hupa Woman, 1923

#54 A Mariposa Man On The Tule River Reservation, 1924A Mariposa Man On The Tule River Reservation, 1924

#55 A Maricopa Woman, 1907A Maricopa Woman, 1907

#56 A Cahuilla Child, 1905A Cahuilla Child, 1905

#57 Spearing Salmon, 1923

Spearing Salmon, 1923

#58 A Qagyuhl Dancer Dressed As Paqusilahl (“man Of The Ground Embodiment”), 1914A Qagyuhl Dancer Dressed As Paqusilahl ("man Of The Ground Embodiment"), 1914

#59 Nayenezgani, A Navajo Man, 1904Nayenezgani, A Navajo Man, 1904

#60 The Hopi Maiden, 1905The Hopi Maiden, 1905

#61 A Zuni Woman, 1903

A Zuni Woman, 1903
#62 A Papago Woman, 1907

A Papago Woman, 1907
#63 Hopi Bridal Costume, 1900

Hopi Bridal Costume, 1900

#64 Kominaka Dancer, 1910

Kominaka Dancer, 1910
#65 Vash Gon, A Jicarrilla Man, C. 1910

Vash Gon, A Jicarrilla Man, C. 1910
#66 A Maricopa Woman With Arrow-brush Stalks, 1907

A Maricopa Woman With Arrow-brush Stalks, 1907
#67 Nesjaja Hatali, Navajo Medicine Man, 1904

Nesjaja Hatali, Navajo Medicine Man, 1904

#68 At The Old Well Of Acoma, 1904

At The Old Well Of Acoma, 1904

#69 Two Dakota Men Playing Hand Drums Outside Of A Tipi, 1908

Two Dakota Men Playing Hand Drums Outside Of A Tipi, 1908
#70 A Kwakiutl Shaman, 1914

A Kwakiutl Shaman, 1914
#71 A Dancer Kisses The Grandfather, 1908

A Dancer Kisses The Grandfather, 1908
#72 An Apache Woman Reaps Grain, C. 1910

An Apache Woman Reaps Grain, C. 1910
#73 An Apsaroke Shaman, 1908

An Apsaroke Shaman, 1908
#74 Skokomish Couple Outside House Made Of Reed Mats, One Seated Beside Canoe That Has Been Pulled Onto The Riverbank, The Other Standing Holding A Paddle, 1913

Skokomish Couple Outside House Made Of Reed Mats, One Seated Beside Canoe That Has Been Pulled Onto The Riverbank, The Other Standing Holding A Paddle, 1913
#75 A Sioux Hunter, 1905

A Sioux Hunter, 1905
#76 Group Of Arikara Women. 1908

Group Of Arikara Women. 1908

#77 Piegan Chiefs, 1900

Piegan Chiefs, 1900
#78 Mowakiu, A Tsawatenok Man, 1914

Mowakiu, A Tsawatenok Man, 1914
#79 Navajo Man Bedecked In Hemlock Boughs And Mask Of A Clown Associated With The Mischievous Rain God Tonenili, 1905

Navajo Man Bedecked In Hemlock Boughs And Mask Of A Clown Associated With The Mischievous Rain God Tonenili, 1905

#80 Mnainak, A Yakima Chief, 1910

Mnainak, A Yakima Chief, 1910
#81 A Kwakiutl Person Dressed As A Forest Spirit, Nuhlimkilaka, (“bringer Of Confusion”), 1914

A Kwakiutl Person Dressed As A Forest Spirit, Nuhlimkilaka, ("bringer Of Confusion"), 1914

 

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