native american portraits


I am continuing to photograph portraits of Native Americans at different pow wows on the East and West Coast. Here are some of the portraits I made my second time photographing at the Queens County Farm Pow Wow.

July 2014.

Portraits of Native Americans

This three-volume set of McKenney & Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes of North America was printed in 1854 and includes 120 colored portraits based on oil paintings by Charles Bird King.

The only Mississippian featured in the set is the Choctaw chief Pushmataha, shown below.

The portraits of women in the set are especially beautiful:

Sadly, the written histories and anecdotes are filled with sexist and racist language, such as this description of Hayne Hudjihini (Eagle of Delight):

Like many handsome women, her face was probably her principal treasure. The countenance does not indicate much character; without the intelligence of the civilized female, it has a softness rarely exhibited by the Indian squaw. There is a Chinese air of childishness and simplicity about it…

Whatever the writers thought of her, Eagle of Delight’s portrait can be found in the White House library today.