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10 Amazing Photos of Native American Life That Will Transport You to the Past

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

It only took one photograph for Edward Sheriff Curtis to become completely fascinated with capturing the Native American culture. Curtis took the photograph in 1895, using it to portray Princess Angeline, a Duwamish chief’s daughter.

By 1906, J.P. Morgan was backing Curtis with the goal of creating an unprecedented documentary project. For the next 20 years, Curtis traveled the country and captured one amazing photograph after another, forever cementing images of a forgotten culture in the pages of history books.

Canoe Crossing Photograph – 1914

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

Seeing the Native American way of life as a disappearing one, Curtis did his best to capture every aspect of it.

Hidatsa and Captured Eagle – 1908

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

Native Americans are proud people, and these photographs caught their pride and culture in a unique way.

Okuwa-Tsire “Cloud Bird” – 1905

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

Curtis even managed to capture the future of the culture in unique ways.

Hupa Spear Fisherman – 1923

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

He was especially interested in the day-to-day activities of the people.

Qagyuhl Dancers – 1914

Edward S. Curtis/Smithsonian Institution
Edward S. Curtis/Smithsonian Institution

Dance has long been a Native American tradition, regardless of the tribe they belong to.

Piegan Chiefs Photograph – 1900

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

Curtis also managed to capture some unique photographs of Native American leaders that strove to keep their people safe and their culture intact.

Apsaroke Mother and Child – 1908

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

Native American mothers were highly focused on taking care of their families.

Navajo Man – 1904

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

The culture of the Native American people has always been intriguing to outsiders. Capturing it in photographs was a way to cement it into our memories forever.

Apsaroke on Horseback Photograph – 1908

Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

When needed, Native Americans would always fight for their way of life.

Last Surviving Plains Indian War Chief Dies at 102

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10 Amazing Photos of Native American Life That Will Transport You to the Past