The culture of Native Americans is rich with magical customs and captures the spirit of living free, but during the 20th century it was quickly vanishing. Because of this, Edward Sheriff Curtis dedicated decades of his life to capturing and recording the lifestyle of indigenous tribes in North America and his extensive work includes some of the most captivating photos from that era.
In 1906, wealthy financier and banker J.P. Morgan provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on Native Americans. Together they produced a 20-volume series, called The North American Indian. Edward spent more than 20 years traveling across the continent and made over 40,000 images of over 80 tribes. He also recorded songs and language, transcribed oral stories and biographies.
Curtis’ methods to record the disappearing way of life were later criticized by some anthropologists. He occasionally posed individuals from unrelated tribes in the same clothing, removed them from natural settings and used overly romantic ones, and so on. Nonetheless, his work still features a lot of authenticity and is regarded as one of the biggest Native American research.
Check out Curtis’ photos of 1900s Native Americans:
#1. A Klamath Chief Stands On A Hill Above Crater Lake, Oregon, 1923