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The great history of Native Americans included in a rare and totally fascinating pictorial record!

Monday, 21 July 2014

/ by Sajjad Sarwar
You are about to witness a sample of a great civilization that bloomed several years ago and left its mark to the world's legacy. The civilization of North American Indian tribes was the first that the north part of this continent has known. Unfortunately the invasion of the Europeans pushed the native tribes to disappearance.
Thankfully years ago, iIn 1906, American photographer Edward S. Curtis was offered $75,000 by financier J. P. Morgan to produce a series on North American Indians (Native Americans) and their culture. The 20-volume work, called The North American Indian, contained over 1,500 photographs, as well as records of tribal lore and history, biographical sketches, and descriptions of traditional foods, housing, clothing, ceremonies, and customs. The photographer's goal was to document as much American Indian traditional life as possible before it disappeared. Although an extensive oral tradition remains among the tribes, Curtis's fascinating work remains the only written recorded history of the North American Indian way of life in the early 20th century.
Three decades of work documenting North American Indians took the photographer all over the continent, as he traveled to remote locations in the Great Plains, the mountainous west, the Mexican border, and even the coast of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska and Canada. His rich pictorial records of over 80 tribes paint a romantic picture of the North American Indian way of life at a time when they were being forced from their land and stripped of their rights. Contrary to the popular depictions of American Indians as "savages" at the time, Curtis's photos present an idealized view, portraying the subjects' unique traditions and lifestyle surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes.
Perusing the thousands of stunning images is a breathtaking journey that transports the viewer to another time and place. To see The North American Indian in its entirely online, check out Northwestern University's Digital Library Collections, here. Selections of the project are also available for purchase on Amazon and in other stores.
Despite that these photos were taken over a century ago, they are still able to relate to us numerous information about this great culture. I feel grateful that people in the past had this inspiration to capture all this greatness and bequeath these amazing pictures to humanity!

Sources: Mymodernmet, Edward S. Curtis Gallery

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