Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952)
Mr. Curtis is famous for documenting, through photography, the life of the Native American Indians.
Photography was still kind of new back then, but it really interested Edward.
Around 7th grade he built his own camera.
When he was only 17, he became an apprentice photographer.
This is where he really learned to master the art of photography.
A few years later, he bought his first real camera and started taking pictures in his photo studio,
In 1895, Curtis photographed Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Sealth of Seattle.
This was the beginning of his Native American Indian portrait career.
Five years later, in 1900, Curtis was invited to join an expedition to photograph the Blackfeet Indians in Montana.
After that, he was paid $75,000 to produce a series of photographs of the North American Indian.
There were to be 1,500 photographs that would be published into 20 different albums.
Curtis set out not just to take pictures of the Native Americans, but to document their traditional way of life.
By the end of his life, Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indian language and music.
He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes.
He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs.
He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only recorded history.
Today we can still look through the work of Edward Curtis and learn a great deal about the Native Americans that would have been lost as the years went by.
November is Native American Heritage Month, perfect time to take a look at some of Curtis' amazing photography.