40 Rare – And Stunning – Photos Of Native Americans From The Early 1900’s

These captivating images provide insight on what life was like for Native American tribes at the turn of the 20th century.

The turn of the 20th century was a monumental time for people everywhere around the globe, but particularly Native Americans in the United States. To ensure aspects of their rich culture could never fade, photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis dedicated decades of his life to capturing and recording the peoples’ long-held traditions. To this day, many of the images he captured remain some of the most captivating photos from that era.

The achievement of documenting more than 40,000 images of 80 Native American tribes was made possible thanks to J.P. Morgan. In 1906, the wealthy financier provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on Native Americans, resulting in the 20-volume series called ‘The North American Indian’.

The images that follow are captivating, but it’s essential to note that Curtis’ methods of obtaining the photographs aren’t praised by all. Some anthropologists have critiqued the fact that the photographer would pose individuals from unrelated tribes in the same clothing, removing them from natural settings. In some cases, the individuals would be featured in front of overly romantic landscapes, and so on. Though some of the photographs might not be completely accurate, they provide excellent insight of the life of early Native American tribes in the early 1900’s.

via Mashable, Bored Panda

#1 A Tewa Girl, 1906

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#2 Sioux Chiefs, 1905

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#4 An Apsaroke Mother And Child, 1908

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#5 An Apsaroke Man On Horseback, 1908

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#6 Black Eagle, An Assiniboin Man, 1908

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#8 Piegan Tepees, 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#10 A Jicarrilla Girl, C. 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#10 A Kwakiutl Shaman Performs A Religious Ritual, 1914

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#12 Apache Girl And Papoose, 1903

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#13 Navajo Man, 1904

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#14 Apache Woman, 1906

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#16 Piegan Girls Gather Goldenrod, 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#17 A Kwakiutl Wedding Party Arrives In Canoes, 1914

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#18 A Qagyuhl Man Dressed As A Bear, 1914

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#20 Hakalahl, A Nakoaktok Chief, 1914

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#22 A Hidatsa Man With A Captured Eagle, 1908

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#23 Walpi Maidens, 1906

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#25 Navajos, 1905

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#26 A Kwakiutl Gatherer Hunts Abalones In Washington, 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#27 Eskadi, Of The Apache Tribe, 1903

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#28 Kwakiutl People In Canoes In British Columbia, 1914

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#29 Hollow Horn Bear, A Brulé Man, 1907

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#30 A Hupa Spear Fisherman Watches For Salmon, 1923

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#31 The Primitive Artists-paviotso, 1924

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#32 A Qahatika Girl, 1907

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#33 A Kwakiutl Chief’s Daughter, 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#34 Indian Woman Holding Rushes, 1908

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#35 Kominaka Dancer, 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#36 Luzi, Of The Papago Tribe, 1907

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#37 Qagyuhl Dancers, 1914

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

#38 An Apache Man, C. 1910

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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

Credit: Edward S. Curtis

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