Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Indian Girl


Today's picture was taken in 1907, and it shows a Qahatika Indian Girl. This is another portrait by Edward Curtis. The thing I have noticed in looking at these pictures of Native American women is that their names are almost never recorded. More often than not, names of the men were recorded, but on the women, at best they are identified as someone's wife or daughter.

9 comments:

  1. Do you think that these Indian women normally wore head coverings (scarves) or is that just a Edward Curtis's idea?

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  2. It's not just Indian women whose names aren't recorded. I indexed all of our town's newspapers from 1904-2000 and in those early editions all of the women were referred to only as Mrs. John Jones, for example. Their own names were never given. It was a bit frustrating.

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  3. Have you ever seen Barry Goldwater's photos of the Arizona Indians in the early part of the 20th century? They're quite incredible.

    I love these series of photos.

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  4. A lot of genealogical searches stall out because women's names aren't recorded, as in Mrs. John Jones. You end up only getting the male lines.

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  5. That makes me so sad! I bet she had a beautful name.

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  6. I think someone asked about this the other day, but why are so many of these pictures of people with a shawl over their head? Is it something Curtis had them do? or, is it an imitation of Catholic garb? It is not my image of native american dress.

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  7. I love your blog sooooo much!!! Thank you for the wonderful history in print.

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  8. It's a male dominated society that we live in. Up until the last, oh let's say decade, women were expected to be in the home and not seen in a public roles with an individual life.

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  9. For Mary,
    I remember that my Grandmother (shawnee, Chicasaw) alway wore her head covered out in the sun. I also remember that many of the grandmothers did so. I would assume it is to protect the scalp from sunburn and to provide shade/warmth as needed. I know that I often raise my shawl over my head for various reasons when I dance at powwows, and participate in ceremonies.

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