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Daily Life

One of the great values of photographs for historians is the opportunity to peek into everyday life events. In spite of the hardships brought by reservation conditions, stresses of assimilation, disintegration of tribal traditions, everyday activities were recorded in photographs. This photoflood shows some of those images, a range of staged daily life. 

Chippewa Wedding
Joel E. Whitney
Carte de visite, ca. 1860s

This group portrait of two unidentified Ojibwa Indians has been labeled as a marriage ceremony, however it has also been associated with the Minnesota uprising of 1862. Two additional unidentified women appear in background. All subjects wear mixtures of western and traditional clothing.

Sophie Assiniway
Grace Chandler Horn
Gelatin silver print photo, 1900

Sophie Assiniway is wearing western clothing and hoeing up potatoes near her home in Middle Village, Michigan.

Does Anything with wife & daughter
Frank A. Rinehart
Stereoview, 1900

This image shows Does Anything with his wife and daughter inside a tent. Does Anything can be seen lying down and reading.

Woman Doing Laundry
Postcard photograph, ca. 1920s
David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography

An unidentified woman and two children doing laundry in Elk Rapids, Michigan.

Sturgeon Caught by Indian Mother
Postcard photograph ca. 1920s
David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography

Taken in Petoskey, Michigan, this Native woman brandishes her sturgeon catch for the day. Next to her boat, two children in western dress appear unfazed by her catch, and a dog wades in the shallow waters. 

Group of Ojibwa Men
A. C. Jones

Albumen print photograph, 1885

These five unidentified Ojibwa men pose in front of a painted studio backdrop. They wear a mixture of western and traditional clothing including feather headdresses, embroidered buckskin leggings, with moccasins and sashes affixed with dance bells. The two men seated in front hold lacrosse sticks.

Just Married
Fanny Hoyt
Gelatin silver print photo, 1900

Two individuals, just married, stand outside a doorway. Fanny Hoyt was an accomplished amateur photographer from Michigan who repeatedly visited Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. This image is from one of her travel albums. 

Pretty Owl seated in Red Cloud’s cabin
George E. Trager
Albumen photograph, 1891

Oglala Chief Red Cloud’s wife Pretty Owl is seated on a bed with an embroidered quilt. The wall decorations include an American flag, framed Christian images, a silver concha belt, a copy of The Ten Commandments, a Japanese katana sword, and what appears to be a Hindu or Buddhist statuette. Taken at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota.

Crow Indian Girls
Fred E. Miller
Albumen print photograph, between 1898 and 1910

Group portrait of three unidentified Crow Indian women wearing mixtures of western and traditional clothing including bead necklaces gathering water in buckets.

White Earth Ojibwa and Wigwam
Hoard and Tenney
Albumen print photograph, between 1870 and 1880

The people at the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota came from several displaced Anishinaabe groups. Here, tribal members pose casually in front of a traditional tree bark wigwam.

Explore the Exhibit

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