Beautiful portraits of Native Americans from almost 120 years ago have been brought to life in a collection of color photos.
The stunning array offers an insight into the vibrant cultures of each tribe from the resplendent feathered headdress of the fierce Sioux nation to the ornate beaded clothing of the Crow tribe.
The colored pictures, some dating as far back as 1899, include tribespeople from the Sioux, Crow, Ute, Passamaquoddy, Pawnee, Maricopa, Blackfeet and Salish.
Among the interesting figures captured in the vintage collection, are Iron White Man from the Sioux, who traveled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, while wearing a police uniform.
Other pictures show Plain Owl of the Crow tribe wearing traditional dress and holding a tomahawk in his lap.
Porrum and Pedro, Ute men, 1899. The Utes were a large tribe that lived in the mountain regions of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Eastern Nevada and Northern New Mexico. Utes were skilled hunters, but after introducing horses into tribe life in the 17th century they became known as expert big game hunters – especially of Buffalo, which they were particularly reliant on. They also had a reputation of fierce warriors, with Spanish settlers speaking of their fine physiques and ability to live in harsh conditions – a stark contrast to the soft dispositions of their Europeans counterparts. All members of the tribe were willing to fight, with women and children also known to defend their camps with lances if needed
Left, Peter Tall Mandan, Grandson of Long Mandan, and right, Iron White Man, Sioux, 1900. The Sioux – arguably one of the most well known Native American tribes – lived on the Great Plains in Minnesota. They were a tribe split across three divisions The Lakota, The Dakota and The Nakota. The Sioux were known to be fierce warriors, with battles such as the Little Bighorn still legendary to this day, and going to war was seen as a rights of passage for Sioux men. However, they were also a very spiritual people and their lives were centered around their families with the raising of children of the up-most importance
Left, Sitting Eagle and right, Po-Pa-Trecash (Plain Owl) both from Crow nation, early 1900s. The Crow people were a plains tribe from land near the base of the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming and Montana. The tribe were powerful and skilled hunters on horseback and could demonstrate this during battle with techniques like hanging underneath a galloping horse by gripping the animals mane. They were also known for their distinctive clothing, particularly their ornate and decorative bead-work (as seen in this picture). The tribe adorned beads on almost every aspect of their lives, with clothes and horses covered in them. Beads and shapes often had a common symbolism but could also be specific to a certain person, representing their standing in the community and achievements
Wiwi-Yokpa or Mary Elmanico, Passamaquoddy, 1913. The Passamaquoddy tribe has been living in north eastern US for several thousands years. They originate from Maine and North Brunswick and inhabited the coastal areas of Passamaquoddy Bay, Bay of Fundy and Gulf Of Maine. The
Wiwi-Yokpa or Mary Elmanico, Passamaquoddy, 1913. The Passamaquoddy tribe has been living in north eastern US for several thousands years. They originate from Maine and North Brunswick and inhabited the coastal areas of Passamaquoddy Bay, Bay of Fundy and Gulf Of Maine. The Passamaquoddy were the first Native American tribe to meet European settlers in the 17th century. While the tribe traded furs with both French and English settlers, they generally distrusted the English and eventually supported the American colonists during the Revolutionary War
Ke-Wa-Ko (Good Fox), Pawnee, 1902. The Pawnee people were a plains tribe that lived in Oklahoma for hundreds of years, before late inhabiting land along the North Platt River in Nebraska. Pawnees were known for their courage and endurance in battle. A testament to their warrior lineage, is that Pawnees have served in every US conflict to date, starting with Pawnee Scouts during the Native American wars of 1622. An identifiable trait of the Pawnees, although, not visible here, was a particular way of preparing their scalp locks – the lock of hair at the back of the head. The tribe would use buffalo fat to make the hair erect and arch it back like a horn
Yellow Feather, Maricopa tribe. The Maricopa tribe were people that lived along the Lower Gila and Colorado Rivers in Arizona. Unlike other tribes, the Maricopa were not known for their skill as warriors and instead were farmers and known for their basket weaving, textiles and red pottery making. To avoid attacks from Quechan and Mojave tribes they formed with the Pima people and migrated to the Gila River in the 16th century
Thunder Cloud, Blackfeet tribe. Blackfeet people lived in the plains around the Rocky Mountains in Montana, Idaho and Alberta in Canada for over 10,000 years. They were skilled hunters and relied heavily on buffalo and when Europeans hunted the animals close to extinction in the 1800s hundreds of Blackfeet died from starvation. The tribe was known for its artistry and skill at embroidering, basket making and beading. However, it was also known for its reluctance to get along with other tribes and clashed with those living in close proximity, including Assiniboine, Cree, Crows, Flatheads, Kutenai, and the Sioux
Salish, Flathead Indian Reservation, Western Montana, photo from 1905-1907. Salish people – also referred to as the Flathead tribe – were a plateau tribe who originated from land in Montana. Once the tribe had introduced horses into their way of life, they often raided the plains for bison – leading to clashes with plains tribes. Their traditional culture focused on the importance of war and how it could bring honour. Their religion also centred around guardian spirits with whom people communicated with via visions. Despite its name, there is no proof that people from the tribe ever practiced head flattening.