The Richard Pohrt, Jr. Collection of Native American photography contains approximately 1,470 photographs pertaining to Native Americans and Native American history from the 1850s into the 1920s. The majority of photographs are individual and group portraits of people from tribes west of the Mississippi, with the Apache, Cheyenne, Crow, and Lakota/Dakota being particularly well represented. The collection contains both studio and outdoor photographs and reflects the dramatic upheavals in Native American life that occurred as a result of the expansion of the United States of America.
The Richard Pohrt, Jr. Collection of Native American photography contains approximately 1,470 images pertaining to Native Americans and Native American history taken between the 1850s and 1940s. The majority of photographs are individual and group portraits of people from tribes west of the Mississippi, with the Apache, Cheyenne, Crow, and Lakota/Dakota being particularly well represented. The collection contains both studio and outdoor photographs and reflects the dramatic upheavals in Native American life that occurred as a result of the expansion of the United States of America.
For clarity, in this finding aid the most widely-used Anglicized naming conventions have been used for most Native American tribes and individuals. Individual catalog records address the full complexities of these issues and include the most commonly used Anglicized and indigenous names and their variants.
After consulting a number of Native American representatives and scholars, it was determined that select images within the collection will not be digitized on account of the culturally sensitive nature of their content. However, culturally sensitive images have still been cataloged and are available for researchers in the reading room along with the rest of the collection.
Overall, upwards of 70 Native American tribes and subtribes (primarily those west of the Mississippi and in the Midwest) are represented throughout the collection. The amount of material pertaining to each tribe varies considerably. For example, approximately 235 photographs relate to the Lakota and Dakota, while the Hopi and Kootenai tribes are each represented in just one photograph respectively.
All of the individual photographs, albums, and portfolios have been cataloged individually. For more detailed information on specific images, please use the UM Library Search.
With the exception of items deemed to contain culturally sensitive content, all materials in the Pohrt Collection have been digitized and can be accessed online through the Pohrt digital collection platform.
In addition, the Clements Library has also created a Richard Pohrt, Jr. Collection - Partial Subject Index and a Richard Pohrt, Jr. Collection - Contributor Index to help navigate the collection.
The following list provides information on photographs (including select call numbers) pertaining to the 13 most well-represented Native American tribes in the collection as well as other items of interest. For a complete list of all tribes represented in the collection, see the Additional Descriptive Data section.
Approximately 28 photographs pertain to the three affiliated Algonquian Blackfeet tribes (Kainah, Siksika and Piegan) present in the collection. Items of particular interest include 18 studio portraits of Algonquian Blackfoot chiefs made by Tomar J. Hileman in the late-1920s (LARGE Hil.001 - LARGE Hil.018) which serve as prime examples of romanticized depictions of Indians produced in the early 20th century. Other images of note include two studio portraits of Piegan chief Three Calves taken by Mabelle Haney in 1920 (OVERSIZE Han.001 & OVERSIZE Han.002); two photographs likely taken by Thomas B. Magee in the late 1890s showing an Algonquian Blackfoot medicine man named Calf Shirt performing a ritual ceremony involving a live rattlesnake (LARGE Mag.001 & LARGE Mag.002); and two more outdoor portraits by Magee showing construction of a medicine lodge and ceremonial dancers standing before the finished lodge (BOU Mag.001 & BOU Mag.002).
Anishinaabe (Odawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi)
Approximately 168 photographs in the collection pertain to the Anishinaabe.
The majority of the Anishinaabe-related images in the collection (approximately 115 photos) were taken by Grace Chandler Horn between 1899 and 1912 near Petoskey, Michigan (GCH.004 - GCH.043 & GCH.050 - GCH.118). The photography shop operated by Horn in Petoskey was a major tourist attraction built around the annual "Hiawatha Pageant" performed by local Odawa actors as well as Ojibwa actors from the Garden River First Nation in Canada. Her portraits of actors and actresses involved in the Hiawatha shows are heavily represented in the collection. These images are considered prime examples of the romanticized depictions of Indians of the period and document a major Michigan tourist attraction of the time. The actors and actresses depicted in these photographs have not been identified, therefore their specific tribal affiliations have been assumed to be either Odawa or Garden River Ojibwa. The Grace Chandler Horn materials also include four photos of Odawa woman Sophia Assinaway at her home garden in Middle Village, Michigan (GCH.022 - GCH.025). Two printed items related to Grace Chandler Horn (a sample booklet of her photography and a Hiawatha Pageant libretto illustrated with Horn photographs) are also contained in Box 21.
In addition to the Grace Chandler Horn photographs, approximately 48 photos relate to the Ojibwa. Items of particular interest include portraits of Ojibwa men involved in the Dakota War of 1862 taken by Minnesota photographer Joel E. Whitney (CDV WhiJ.017 - CDV WhiJ.028, CDV WhiJ.036 & CDV WhiJ.037); stereographs by Whitney and assistant Charles Zimmerman showing Ojibwa wigwams (STE Whi-Zim.001), canoe-building (STE Whi-Zim.002 & STE Whi-Zim.002); Leech Lake Ojibwa during a payment transaction (STE Whi-Zim.004); and a studio portrait of White Cloud (STE Whi-Zim.005). Also present are photos by Zimmerman showing an Ojibwa deer hunt (STE Zim.002), Sky Down to the Earth (STE Zim.003) and To Keep the Net Up (STE Zim.004).
Other images of note include an outdoor portrait of the "Rapids Pilot" John Boucher seated in his canoe by B. F. Childs (STE Chi.002); three studio portraits of Buhkwujjenene by Thomas Charles Turner and Sydney Victor White taken during a trip to England in 1872 with Rev. Edward Francis Wilson in order to raise funds for the Shingwauk Indian Residential School (CDV Tur.001, CDV Tur.002 & CDV Whi-Whi.001); three studio portraits of Saginaw Band Ojibwa leader David Shoppenagon by Armstrong & Rudd and George H. Bonnell (CAB Arm-Rud.002, CAB Bonn.001 & CAB Bonn.002); an outdoor group portrait by Hoard & Tenney of five unidentified Ojibwa men at White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota (STE Hoa-Ten.001); views by T.W. Ingersoll showing Ojibwa women tanning buckskins and crafting birch canoes (STE Ing.001 & MEDIUM Ing.001); a Leech Lake Ojibwa family posing outside their wigwam (MEDIUM Bro.001); and an outdoor group portrait taken by Dan Dutro in the mid-1910s of several Cree and/or Ojibwa men partaking in a dance ceremony at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, Montana (BOU Dut.002).
The approximately 13 Potawatomi-related photographs in the collection mostly pertain to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas. Items of particular interest include studio individual and group portraits such as Shipshewana & Madeline Lasely (CAB Uni.017); Shob-ne-kak-kak with unidentified wife by Oaks & Ireland (CAB Oak-Ire.001); a studio group portrait by W. M. Oaks of two unidentified Prairie Band Potawatomi women posing with a photograph of what may be a deceased relative (CAB Oak.001); and two portraits of Nancy Weeg-was alone and with husband Weeg-was (CAB Uni.015 & CAB Oak.002). Other materials include a group portrait of Potawatomi and white American individuals posing outside of a storefront on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation in Kansas (MEDIUM Uni.004) and an image captioned "The Reserve Dudes" depicting a group of nine Prairie Band Potawatomi men who performed at Wild West Shows (LARGE Uni.003).
Approximately 68 Apache-related photographs are present. Specific Apache tribes represented include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Kiowa Apache, Mescalero, Mimbreño, and White Mountain Apache. Of particular note are eight boudoir photographs and one framed group portrait by C. S. Fly (BOU Fly.001 - BOU Fly.008 & FRAMED 10), the majority of which relate to the apprehension of Geronimo and his followers in 1886. Other photographs of interest include a series by Andrew Miller depicting daily life on the San Carlos and Fort Apache reservations in the 1880s (CAB MilA.001, CAB MilA.002 & BOU MilA.001 - BOU MilA.009); portraits of Apache women and scouts such as Nan-tag-a-ra, Dandy Jim and Santiago by Henry Buehman (CAB Bue.002 & STE Bue.001 - STE Bue.007); and outdoor group portraits of Chiricahua prisoners of war including Naiche and Geronimo being held at Fort Sam Houston taken by Frank Hardesty (BOU Har.001 & BOU Har.002).
Studio portraits include photographs by A. Frank Randall of Geronimo, Bonito, Dutche, husband and wife Ze-le & Tzes-Tone, Something-at-the-campfire-already-cooked (wife of Cochise), Old Nana, and Mescalero chief San Juan (BOU Ran.001 - BOU Ran.013). Also present are studio portraits of Apache chiefs and scouts such as Bonito, Chatto, Nalte, and Peaches by Ben Wittick (BOU Wit.001 & BOU Wit.003 - BOU Wit.005); Geronimo while prisoner of war at Fort Sill taken by William E. Irwin (BOU Irw.010, BOU Irw.011 & BOU Irw.024); and a Lenny & Sawyers photograph of a Kiowa-Apache man identified as "Apache Jim" (BOU Len-Saw.005).
Of further interest are photographs of Apache scouts with German-American chief of scouts Al Sieber taken by J. C. Burge (STE Bur.001 & STE Bur.002); group portraits of Apache scouts including Mickey Free, a Mexican-born Apache scout kidnapped by the Pinal Apache as a child and adopted into the tribe (STE WilW.001 & STE Bue.006); an outdoor group portrait by C. S. Fly showing Jimmy "Santiago" McKinn, a white American settler kidnapped as a child by Geronimo's band (BOU Fly.001); and several images of Apache individuals encountered during the Wheeler Expedition taken by Timothy O'Sullivan (STE Wheeler.031 - STE Wheeler.033, STE Wheeler.041, STE Wheeler.042, STE Wheeler.051 & STE Wheeler.052).
Approximately 53 Cheyenne-related photographs are present in the collection, including photographs of both Northern and Southern Cheyenne, the latter of which are now part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
Between 1875 and 1878, several dozen Southern Cheyenne, Southern Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians as well as one lone individual from the Caddo tribe were imprisoned at Fort Marion in Saint Augustine, Florida, for their roles in the Red River War. While imprisoned, these chiefs, warriors and their families became a major tourist attraction. The Pohrt Collection contains numerous images of the Fort Marion prisoners taken by photographers such as J. N. Wilson, O. Pierre Havens, and George Pierron; of particular note are stereograph portraits of Southern Cheyenne chiefs Howling Wolf (STE Hav.001 -STE Hav.003), Medicine Water (STE Hav.005 & STE Hav.006), Mochi (STE Hav.006) and a tintype of Making Medicine made by an unidentified photographer (CASED Uni.006).
Other photographs include images purportedly related to a Southern Cheyenne & Arapaho Ghost Dance ceremony taken by C. C. Stotz in 1890 (BOU Sto.001 & BOU Sto.002); a group portrait of prisoners from Dull Knife's band taken by J. R. Riddle in 1879 (STE Rid.001); a studio portrait of two-spirit person Glad Road by Cosand & Mosser (CDV Cos-Mos.001); outdoor portraits by John K. Hillers of Cheyenne chiefs that attended the Grand Council in Okmulgee in 1875 (STE Hil.001 – STE Hil.003); a studio portrait of White Buffalo taken around the time of his arrival at the United States Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (BOU Cho.001); a studio portrait by William E. Irwin of Gertrude Threefinger wearing an elk-tooth dress (BOU Irw.003); and two panoramic views by Henry C. Chaufty depicting a supposed Southern Cheyenne Sun Dance gathering in 1909 as well as a Southern Cheyenne & Arapaho fair at Watonga, Oklahoma, in September of 1912 (FRAMED 1 & FRAMED 4).
Approximately 94 Crow-related photographs are in the collection. On account of their historical enmity with neighboring tribes such as the Lakota/Dakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne, the Crow firmly allied themselves with the United States and provided numerous scouts for many U.S. military expeditions in the second half of the 19th century. Several portraits of Crow scouts are present in the collection, including photographs of Curley (CAB BarD.019, MEDIUM BarD.003, STE Rin.006 & PORTFOLIO 1B) and White Swan (BOU MilF.001 & BOU MilF.002), both of whom were present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Other images of note include a series of 56 stereographs by Frank A. Rinehart at Crow Indian Reservation in Montana at the turn of the 20th century (STE Rin.001 - STE Rin.056) consisting of views showing daily reservation life, ceremonies and dances, as well as individual, group, and family portraits, including one photograph of chief Plenty Coups speaking to a crowd about counting coup.
Also of interest are three images showing Plenty Coups and others present at the unveiling ceremony for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (FRAMED 11 - FRAMED 13); photos by O. S. Goff of Crow scouts including Bear Don't Walk and members of "L" Troop, 1st Cavalry (BOU Gof.001, BOU Gof.002, & MEDIUM Gof.003); portraits of Crow chiefs and men including Hoop on Forehead, Bear in a Cloud, and Spotted Rabbit, as well as scenes from Crow Indian Reservation by Fred E. Miller (BOU MilF.003, BOU MilF.004, LARGE MilF.001, LARGE MilF.002 & MEDIUM MilF.001 - MEDIUM MilF.005); portraits of Crow chiefs including Grey Bear, Old Coyote, Hoop on Forehead, Spies on Enemies, Big Medicine Man, Chief Little Head and Old Coyote by F. Jay Haynes (STE Hay.001 & CAB Hay.001 - CAB Hay.009); and a group portrait by an unidentified photographer of Crow prisoners of war including Crazy Head and Coups Well Known being held at Crow Indian Agency following the Crow War of 1887 (LARGE Uni.018).
Ho Chunk (Winnebago)
22 Ho Chunk-related photographs are in the collection. Items of particular interest include stereographs by H. H. Bennett of Yellow Thunder purportedly at the age of 120 (STE Ben.002), a Ho Chunk woman tanning a deerskin (STE Ben.001), a studio portrait of Big Bear (STE Ben.004) and a group of Ho Chunk men playing "Wah-koo-chad-ah" or the Moccasin Game (STE Ben.003).
Other items of note include a group portrait by Charles Van Schaik of Clara Blackhawk and her infant son Andrew (CAB Van.002); another Van Schaik portrait of Little Soldier and wife Bettie (CAB Van.001); a studio portrait by Joel E. Whitney of Chief Little Hill (CDV WhiJ.030); a studio group portrait by W. H. Illingworth of Walk in the Evening and Bear Skin (STE Ill.003); studio portraits of Chief Big Hawk and son David Big Hawk (CAB Uni.020 & CAB Uni.021); a studio group portrait by Brown & Wait of several Ho Chunk men including one individual who appears to possibly have smallpox scars (CAB Bro-Wai.001); a studio group portrait of an unidentified Ho Chunk man from Nebraska posing with Fox chiefs Wa-Wa-Ta-Sah and Ma-Tau-E-Qua (MEDIUM Uni.003); and two outdoor group portraits of Ho Chunk Indians in Wisconsin partaking in a church ceremony (BOU Uni.005 & BOU Uni.006).
Two tintypes, one of an unidentified Ho Chunk father and son (CASED Uni.001) and the other a group portrait of several children (CASED Uni.002), are also present.
Approximately 40 Kiowa-related photographs are present in the collection. Items of particular interest include 19 studio and outdoor individual and group portraits taken by William E. Irwin of Kiowa men, women and girls including Daisy Waterman (BOU Irw.008), Anne "Kiowa Annie" Berry (BOU Irw.004 - BOU Irw.006), Millie Oytant and "Cora" (BOU Irw.007), Joe Goombi with two daughters (BOU Irw.009), Lone Wolf the Younger (BOU Irw.013 & BOU Irw.023), Lone Wolf the Younger's mother Big Black Hair (BOU Irw.014), Poor Buffalo (BOU Irw.017), Kiowa and Comanche scouts near Anadarko(BOU Irw.018 & BOU Irw.019), and Ahpeatone (MED Irw.001).
Also present are five group portraits showing Kiowa prisoners of war at Fort Marion (STE Hav.004, STE Pie.001, STE Pie.002, STE Wil-Hav.001, STE Uni.004 & STE Uni.009); studio portraits of Kiowa girls and children by Lenny & Sawyers (BOU Len-Saw.001, BOU Len-Saw.009 & BOU Len-Saw.013); a studio portrait of Ahpeatone by Trager and Kuhn misidentified as Oglala Lakota chief Young Man Afraid of His Horses (CAB Tra-Kuh.001); a studio group portrait by W. P. Bliss of Gotebo with an unidentified individual (CAB Bli.002); a studio portrait of a Kiowa girl identified as "Ka-o-ta" produced by George W. Bretz (CAB Bre.003); and a group portrait of three unidentified Kiowa girls wearing elk-tooth dresses by C. C. Stotz (CAB Stot.001).
The 19 Modoc-related images in the collection include a series of stereographs created by Eadweard Muybridge during the Modoc War of 1872-73 (STE Muy.001 - STE Muy.011). They depict the lava bed landscape, the U.S. army camp near Tule Lake, army scouts from the nearby Warm Springs Indian reservation led by Donald McKay, and the camp of the Modoc warrior Shok-Nos-Ta. Two of the photos depict Modoc women involved in the conflict, including interpreter Toby Riddle as well as a group of Modoc women taken as prisoners of war.
Other items of interest include four studio portraits by Louis Herman Heller of Modoc prisoners of war in 1873 such as the family of Captain Jack (CAB Hel.001), the "Lost River Murderers" (CAB Hel.002), Schonchin (CAB Hel.003), and Bogus Charley (CAB Hel.004), as well as four studio portraits by David C. Herrin produced in the late 1890s showing Klamath men described as having assisted the United States during the Modoc War (CAB Herr.001 - CAB Herr.004).
Nez Percé (Nimiipuu)
13 photographs in the collection have content pertaining to the Nez Percé. Items of particular interest include individual portraits of Chief Joseph (MEDIUM BarD.004, MEDIUM Bow.001, PORTFOLIO 1C); a tintype by an unknown photographer of an unidentified Nez Percé warrior (CASED Uni.003); a studio portrait of Chief Yellow Bull by C. M. Bell in Washington D.C. (OVERSIZE Bel.001); three images produced by W. H. Partridge showing Nez Percé families and homesteads in Oregon including visuals of tipis and a horse corral (BOU Par.001 - BOU Par.003); two studio portraits of "Steps", a Native American man adopted into the Nez Percé tribe (CAB Bai-Dix.002 & CAB BarD.020); and a group portrait by Ebenezer E. Henry showing Chief Joseph, Yellow Bull, Charles Moses, and another unidentified Nez Percé chief while being held as prisoners of war at Fort Leavenworth in 1877 following the cessation of the Nez Percé War (BOU Hen.001).
21 photographs in the collection relate to the Oto and Otoe-Missouria. Images of particular note include studio portraits of White Horse by Thomas Croft (CAB Cro.001 & CAB Cro.002); studio group and individual portraits of Oto chiefs including William Faw Faw, White Horse, Huma, Opanomnina and Parthayne by Lenny & Sawyers (BOU Len-Saw.004, BOU Len-Saw.006, BOU Len-Saw.007 & BOU Len-Saw.011); a studio portrait of Standing Eating by John K. Hillers in Washington D.C. (CAB Hil.001); an outdoor group portrait of an unidentified Oto family in Indian Territory posing in front of their home (MEDIUM Uni.014); an individual and group studio portrait showing Chief George Dailey (CAB Uni.008 & CAB Uni.009); three photos by William S. Prettyman including two studio portraits of unidentified Oto groups as well as an outdoor group portrait of the family of Baptiste DeRoin(CAB Pre.001, BOU Pre.001 & BOU Pre.002).
Sac & Fox
21 photographs relate to the Sac & Fox tribes, predominately consisting of images related to the Sac & Fox tribes of Iowa, Oklahoma, and to a lesser extent Kansas. Items of particular interest include several studio portraits of Iowa-based Sac & Fox individuals (known today as the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa) taken by photographers H. C. Eberhart, J. L. Hudson, and J. S. Moore during the 1880s (CDV Eber.001, CAB Hud.001, CDV Hud.001, CDV Hud.002 & CAB Moo.002 - CAB Moo.008); a group portrait by Oakes & Ireland of a Kansas-based Sac and Fox ceremonial dancer with his son (CAB Oak-Ire.002); an outdoor group portrait taken by William S. Prettyman around 1895 showing a group of people from the Sac & Fox Mokohoko band including Chief Paw-She-Paw-Ho (LARGE Pre.001); a studio portrait of Walter Battice by John K. Hillers taken sometime during the early 1920s before Hillers' death in 1925 (BOU Hil.001); a group portrait of a Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma man at home with his wife and sleeping infant child (STE Key.001); two studio portraits of Sac & Fox chiefs taken by C. M. Bell in Washington D.C. (OVERSIZE Bel.002 & OVERSIZE Bel.003); a studio group portrait of an unidentified Ho Chunk man from Nebraska posing with Fox chiefs Wa-Wa-Ta-Sah and Ma-Tau-E-Qua (MEDIUM Uni.003); a studio group portrait by J. L. Hudson of Charles Keokuk and an unidentified Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa chief (CDV Hud.002); as well as a studio portrait of a Sac & Fox chief claimed by the unidentified photographer to be a grandson of Black Hawk (CDV Uni.003).
Lakota and Dakota
Over 240 photographs pertain to the Lakota and Dakota (also commonly referred to collectively as the Sioux, a term that has pejorative origins). The Dakota consist of three sub-tribes (the Santee, Yankton, and Yanktonai) while the Lakota consist of seven sub-tribes; the Sicangu (Brulé), Oglala, Miniconjou, Hunkpapa, Itázipco (Sans Arc), Sihasapa, and Oóhenunpa. The Pohrt Collection contains photos related to all three Dakota sub-tribes as well as photos related to every Lakota sub-tribe except for the Oóhenunpa.
The majority of the approximately 40 images in the collection related to the Santee Dakota were taken around the time of the Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota, when several bands initially led by Chief Little Crow revolted against federal Indian agents who had regularly failed to supply promised foodstuffs and annuities. After several months of fighting, most of the Santee surrendered and thirty-eight were eventually executed in Mankato, Minnesota, on December 26th 1862 in what remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Items of particular interest include four photographs taken by Adrian Ebell prior to and during the outbreak of the conflict (CDV Ebe.001 & STE Ebe.001 - STE Ebe.003); three photographs by B. F. Upton showing Santee prisoners of war at Fort Snelling including Little Crow's sons White Spider and Thomas Wakeman (STE Upt.001, CDV Upt.001 & CDV Upt.002); as well as 21 studio portraits produced by Joel Whitney depicting Santee prisoners of war, many of whom were among the executed at Mankato (STE WhiJ.002, STE WhiJ.003, STE WhiJ.034, CDV WhiJ.001 - CDV WhiJ.010, CDV WhiJ.012 - CDV WhiJ.016 & CDV WhiJ.032 - CDV WhiJ.034). Also present is an outdoor group portrait of Santee men taken by T. W. Ingersoll in the 1890s (MEDIUM Ing.002); a studio portrait of Wabasha III (CAB Lak.001); a Stanley J. Morrow studio portrait of an elderly Santee woman named Sacred Blanket purported to be 133 years old (STE MorS.036); and a studio portrait of Abbie Gardner Sharp, a white American woman who survived being captured by Santee raiders after the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857 in Iowa in an incident which is generally considered a precursor to the Dakota War (CAB Uni.022).
Other Santee materials include several portraits of physician Dr. Charles Eastman taken by Grace Chandler Horn in the 1910s (GCH.001 - GCH.003 & GCH.044 - GCH.049). Dr. Eastman, grandson of U.S. Army officer and renowned artist Seth Eastman, attended Dartmouth College and then Boston University's medical school, becoming one of the first Native Americans certified as a western-style doctor. He later established the Indian YMCA and helped found the Boy Scouts of America, as well as becoming a national spokesman for Native Americans.
Images of particular interest involving the Yankton Dakota include an outdoor group portrait of Struck-by-the-Ree and Feather Necklace by Stanley J. Morrow (STE MorS.020); a group portrait taken by O. S. Goff of fifteen unidentified Yankton chiefs with an Indian Agent (MEDIUM Gof.001); two photos by W. R. Cross consisting of a studio portrait of an unidentified Yankton man (CDV Cro.005); and a composite photograph showing twelve different photographs of Native Americans from Dakota Territory including an image of a Yankton scaffold burial (BOU Cro.001).
Yanktonai Dakota images of interest include photos by D. F. Barry of Standing Rock Indian Reservation policeman Henry Bull Head who reportedly shot Sitting Bull after having been mortally wounded himself during the arrest (CAB BarD.011); an elevated outdoor group portrait taken during the 1885 census at Standing Rock (MEDIUM BarD.001); a studio portrait of interpreter and scout John Bruguier by George Spencer (CAB Spe.013); two studio portraits of Mad Bear (CAB BarD.017 & CAB Sco.005); stereographs by Stanley J. Morrow showing Yanktonai chiefs Black Eye, Bloody Mouth, Afraid of the Bear (STE MorS.019) and Medicine Bear (STE MorS.003 & STE MorS.004); and a studio portrait of Wolf Necklace by O. S. Goff (STE Gof.008).
The vast majority of Lakota/Dakota-related photographs in the collection pertain to the Lakota. Numerous individual and group portraits include but are not limited to the following individuals:
- Sitting Bull (CDV Cro.001, CDV Cro.002, BOU Cro.001, CAB Gof.001, CAB Uni.001, CAB Uni.002, CAB Bai-Dix.001, CAB Sco.004, CAB Pal-Jur.001, CAB Pal-Jur.002, LARGE BarD.001, CAB BarD.001, CAB BarD.002, CAB Not.001, LARGE Clo.001, PORTFOLIO 1A & PORTFOLIO 1C)
- Gall (CAB Gof.002, CAB Sco.006, CAB BarD.013, MEDIUM BarD.001, LARGE BarD.002, PORTFOLIO 1A & PORTFOLIO 1C)
- Rain in the Face (CAB BarD.008, CAB BarD.009, CAB Sco.001, CAB Spe.001, CAB Spe.002 & PORTFOLIO 1A)
- Spotted Tail (CDV Cro.003, CDV Gur.001, STE Cur.001, STE MorS.028, MEDIUM Cho.011 & CAB Cho.003)
- Iron Wing (MEDIUM Cho.002 & CAB Cho.003 - CAB Cho.005)
- American Horse (CAB Cho.004, CAB Cho.007, MEDIUM Tru.001, MEDIUM Tru.002 & PORTFOLIO 1A)
- Crow Dog (Albums 1, LARGE Gra.009, BOU Tra-Kuh.022, PORTFOLIO 1A)
- Plenty Horses (STE Gra.001, LARGE Butt.001 & FRAMED 6)
- Big Foot--Miniconjou (STE MorS.023 & BOU Tra-Kuh.013)
- Jack Red Cloud (LARGE Gra.011, BOU Uni.007 & CAB Spe.003)
- Two Strike (CAB Cho.003, BOU Tra-Kuh.001, BOU Tra-Kuh.016, BOU Tra-Kuh.022, BOU Tra-Kuh.023)
- Iron Tail (BOU Uni.003 & LARGE Uni.017)
- Red Cloud (STE Cur.001 & PORTFOLIO 1A)
- Luther Standing Bear (BOU Cho.007 & MEDIUM Cho.010)
- One Bull (CAB Bai-Dix.003 & CAB Pal-Jur.001)
- Louis Roubideaux (CAB Cho.003)
- Charles C. Tackett (CAB Cho.003)
Several photos are related to the Ghost Dance movement on the Lakota reservations and the subsequent buildup to and aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Specific items of interest regarding the Lakota Ghost Dance movement include a secret photo taken by Sam T. Clover without the subjects' permission of a Ghost Dance feast in which Sitting Bull supposedly stands at center (LARGE Clo.001); a photograph by James E. Meddaugh showing a Ghost Dance being performed by Oglala Lakota men and women at Pine Ridge (CAB Medd.001); an outdoor portrait by George W. Scott of a Lakota woman named Scarlet Woman who had been arrested in November of 1890 for proclaiming to be the "mother of the Messiah" (CAB Sco.003); and several individual and group portraits by Trager & Kuhn of Lakota chiefs both involved with and opposed to the Ghost Dance movement, including Kicking Bear, Stinking Bear, Hollowood, Crazy Bear, Crow Dog, Two Strike, Young Man Afraid of His Horse, Good Lance, Short Bull, High Hawk and Big Talk (BOU Tra-Kuh.009, BOU Tra-Kuh.015, BOU Tra-Kuh.016, BOU Tra-Kuh.022 - BOU Tra-Kuh.025 & BOU Tra-Kuh.027). Also of note are other photographs by Trager & Kuhn including a studio portrait of Kiowa chief Ahpeatone (erroneously identified as Young Man Afraid of His Horses) who had been sent to visit his Lakota relatives on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in order to learn about their version of the Ghost Dance (CAB Tra-Kuh.001) as well as a "bird's-eye view" of a Ghost Dance at Pine Ridge on November 25th 1890 which may have been originally taken by James E. Meddaugh (BOU Tra-Kuh.031).
Approximately 51 photographs directly pertain to the Wounded Knee Massacre. Materials of note include a view by Clarence G. Morledge of the "Bloody Pocket" valley where the Drexel Mission Fight took place one day after the massacre (BOU Morl.001); a series of studio portraits by George E. Spencer depicting several individuals involved with the Ghost Dance movement who were being held as prisoners of war at Fort Sheridan after Wounded Knee (CAB Spe.004 - CAB Spe.012); and a group portrait by an unidentified photographer in 1902 of Chief Calico with son Frank Calico and wife Good Dog, the latter of whom was purportedly a "great Medicine woman at Wounded Knee in 1890" (LARGE Uni.005).
Photographs from albums compiled by Michigan-based photographer Fannie Hoyt include views of the Wounded Knee battlefield (Albums 4B & Albums 4D) and portraits of individuals known to have survived the massacre such as Joseph Horn Cloud (Albums 4C), Daniel White Lance (Albums 4F) and possibly Dewey Beard (Albums 4C). Graphic photographs by Trager & Kuhn show bodies of victims at the site of Wounded Knee, as well as scenes at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation immediately following the massacre (BOU Tra-Kuh.001, BOU Tra-Kuh.002, BOU Tra-Kuh.004, BOU Tra-Kuh.008 - BOU Tra-Kuh.014, BOU Tra-Kuh.016, BOU Tra-Kuh.020, BOU Tra-Kuh.022 - BOU Tra-Kuh.026, BOU Tra-Kuh.028 - BOU Tra-Kuh.030 & LARGE Tra-Kuh.001 - LARGE Tra-Kuh.004). Photographs by John C. H. Grabill include images of a Grass Dance being performed by Miniconjou dancers four months prior to the massacre (LARGE Gra.001 & LARGE Gra.002); scenes from "hostile" Lakota camps on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (LARGE Gra.003 & LARGE Gra.004); Gen. Nelson Appleton Miles and staff at Pine Ridge (LARGE Gra.008); negotiations taking place between U.S. Army officers and Lakota leaders at Pine Ridge following the massacre (LARGE Gra.007); individual and group portraits of Lakota individuals including Crow Dog (LARGE Gra.009), Plenty Horses (STE Gra.001 & FRAMED 6), Jack Red Cloud (LARGE Gra.011), a wife and family of American Horse (LARGE Gra.005), and survivors of Big Foot's band (LARGE Gra.006); as well as a group portrait of Brulé and Oglala Lakota men, women, and children, including an infant purported to be one of the two babies known to have been miraculously recovered from the Wounded Knee site three days after the massacre (LARGE Gra.010).
Other photographs of note include a group portrait by Frank Currier showing a Lakota delegation to Washington, D.C., in May of 1875, including chiefs Red Cloud, the Oglala Sitting Bull, Swift Bear, and Spotted Tail as well as Prussian-Jewish interpreter Julius Meyer (STE Cur.001); a view of a Brulé "war dance" at Rosebud Agency (BOU Uni.002); a group portrait of Louis Dewitt and family at Fort Bennett, Dakota Territory (MEDIUM Uni.009); and three views by E. A. Fry of lodges at an Oglala encampment on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1883 including a Medicine Scalp Lodge and Sun Dance Lodge (LARGE Fry.001 - LARGE Fry.003).
Also present are views of Lakota scaffold burials (STE MorS.027, STE MorS.029 & BOU Cro.001); a photo showing a group of Lakota dancers in traditional dress posing outside the home of Emma Sickels with American flags and a Benjamin Harrison flag related to the 1888 presidential election (BOU Tra-Kuh.032); three studio group portraits by Robinson & Roe of the Sioux Treaty Commission of 1889 (CAB Rob-Roe.001 - CAB Rob-Roe.003); portraits including Lakota family members related to American frontiersman John Young Nelson (CAB AndD.001, CAB Ell-Fry.001, CAB Fra.001, & LARGE Gra.010); and a Trager & Kuhn view of Red Cloud's wife Pretty Owl inside the couple's cabin at Pine Ridge (Tra-Kuh.005).
Approximately 16 photographs in the collection pertain to the Ute tribe. Specific Ute sub-tribes represented in the collection include the Capote, Moache, and Tabeguache. Images of particular note include studio portraits by William H. Jackson of Ute chiefs Ouray (CAB Jac.001) and Colorow (CAB Jac.002), Ouray's sister Shawsheen erroneously captioned as being Ouray's wife Chipeta (CAB Jac.003) and Tushaquinot (CAB Jac.004 & BOU Jac.001); a studio portrait by Charles M. Bell of a member of Ouray's band called "Tom Ute" (OVERSIZE Bel.007); and portraits by C. R. Savage of a Ute family (CDV Sav.001) and a warrior identified as "Indian Charley" (STE Sav.001).
Also present are two portraits made by Timothy O'Sullivan during the Wheeler Expedition of Capote Utes including a woman named "Pah-ge" (STE Wheeler.039) and a group of unidentified Ute warriors (STE Wheeler.040); two studio portraits by Ben E. Hawkins showing a group of Ute chiefs (STE Haw.001) and a chief named "Washington" (BOU Haw.001); a studio portrait by J. N. Choate of an unidentified Native American man (possibly a Ute) erroneously identified as Colorow (MEDIUM Cho.001); and a studio portrait of White River Ute leader Chief Johnson by W. G. Chamberlain in which the subject holds a studio prop staff affixed with a scalp lock (CAB Cha.001).
Photo Albums & Portfolios
12 photograph albums and one three-volume portfolio set are present in the collection.
The three-volume portfolio set of Plains Warriors, Chiefs, Scouts and Frontier Personalities published by the Denver Public Library in 1982 contains 45 contact prints created from the original negatives of photographs taken by David Francis Barry and Oliver S. Goff in the period ca. 1870-1890.
- Volume 1, "Chiefs of the Sioux Wars and the Battle of the Little Bighorn" contains 14 portraits of Lakota leaders including Red Cloud, Rain in the Face, Crow King, Gall, John Grass, Low Dog, Long Dog, and Sitting Bull, as well as a photo of a "Burial Tree" indicative of how Lakota and Cheyenne casualties were supposedly laid to rest following the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
- Volume 2, "Custer, Prominent Military Structures, and the Men who Fought the Sioux Wars" contains 15 photos of United States Army officers and military forts that were important during the Plains Indian wars, including several portraits of members of Custer's 7th Cavalry.
- Volume 3, "Plains Warriors, Chiefs, Scouts, and Frontier Personalities" contains 15 photos including portraits of prominent Native American chiefs including Chief Joseph, Gall, Sitting Bull, and War Eagle; as well images of Grass Dancers; an unidentified Arikara scout; William F. Cody; and Annie Oakley. Two photos of Standing Rock Reservation in the 1890s are also present, including one image showing a group of Indian reservation police
The John Alvin Anderson album consists of 49 images of scenes from the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota, in the late 1880s and early 1890s. Photographs depict daily Lakota life on the reservation including landscapes, boarding schools, camp life and homesteads, reservation police, and Fourth of July-related dance ceremonies. Images pertaining to cattle ranching and Native American cowboys are also a prominent theme in the album. Several portraits of Brulé Lakota men are also included, including Hollow Horn Bear, Crow Dog, and Two Strike. Of particular note is a group portrait of several Brulé Lakota men preparing for a "Journey to Eastern Cities".
The Osage Indians photograph album contains 49 images mostly taken by George W. Parsons near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, ca. 1880 to 1900 that for the most part pertain to the Osage tribe. Images of particular interest include photographs of Osage Reservation buildings, boarding schools, portraits of Osage men, women, and children, cattle ranching scenes, and images captioned "Sun Dance" that likely depict Fourth of July celebrations. Also present are 12 photographs likely taken by the unidentified compiler of the album which show street scenes and buildings from Pawhuska, white American sightseers at "Lover's Leap" rock formation, and an Osage lodge flying an inverted American flag.
The Fort Berthold album compiled by an unknown photographer contains 54 images primarily related to the Mandan tribe at Fort Berthold, North Dakota, ca. 1890 to 1910. Images of particular interest from the front two-thirds of the album include landscape views, Fort Berthold Agency buildings and homesteads, reservation police, meat drying, and photographs of Mandan men, women, and children. The final third of the album contains photographs of dead animals, hunting trophies, a taxidermy business, bison farm, and the Northern Pacific railroad bridge in Bismarck, North Dakota. Some of the Native Americans depicted may belong to the Arikara and Hidatsa tribes who also reside at Fort Berthold.
The Fanny Hoyt albums (9 volumes) consist of approximately 287 images taken during visits to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota from 1900 to 1903. Fanny Hoyt (1868-1949) was a photographer from Wayland, Michigan. Images of interest include numerous portraits of Lakota men, women, and children (many of whom are identified with captions), buildings from around Pine Ridge agency, landscape views including the Badlands, and photographs related to cattle ranching and meat distribution. Of particular note are photographs of the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, a Catholic Indian Meeting House, giveaway ceremonies, preparation of boiled dog meat, wooden coffins captioned "Indian Graves", the interior of a Lakota church, scenes from Fourth of July celebrations, and group portraits of Lakota pupils at "No. 29 Day School".
Other Items of Note
52 stereographs taken by Timothy O'Sullivan and William H. Bell relate to the survey expeditions led by Lieut. George Wheeler (STE Wheeler.001 - STE Wheeler.052) in the years 1873 and 1874. These images depict not only the natural landscapes explored during the survey, such as Canyon de Chelle and Shoshone Falls, but also the Apache, Navajo, Ute, and Zuni peoples through whose lands the survey passed. Includes original stereograph box.
Approximately 30 photographs primarily taken by J. N. Choate are directly related to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1879 by Captain Richard Henry Pratt of the U.S. Army, Carlisle was the flagship Indian boarding school until its closure in 1918. Over ten thousand Native Americans attended the school, where they were subjected to a strict regimen devised under Pratt's motto of "Kill the Indian, save the man." Arriving students had their hair shorn and their clothes replaced with European-style dress, while students were also forced to take new English names and forbidden to speak their native languages.
Portraits of Native American chiefs and students taken during visits to the Carlisle School include but are not limited to the following individuals:
- Sharp Nose (MEDIUM Cho.003 & MEDIUM Cho.005)
- Iron (MEDIUM Cho.005)
- White Horse (MEDIUM Cho.005)
- Black Coal (MEDIUM Cho.005)
- Little Wolf (MEDIUM Cho.005)
- Iron Wing (MEDIUM Cho.002 & CAB Cho.003 - CAB Cho.005)
- Poor Wolf (CAB Cho.004, CAB Cho.007 & MEDIUM Cho.009)
- Yellow Bear (MEDIUM Cho.006 & CAB Cho.004)
- Sitting Bear (MEDIUM Cho.008, CAB Cho.004 & CAB Cho.007)
- Man-in-the-Cloud (MEDIUM Cho.007)
- Mad Wolf (MEDIUM Cho.007)
- Spotted Tail (MEDIUM Cho.011 & CAB Cho.003 - CAB Cho.006)
- Black Crow (CAB Cho.003)
- Two Strike (CAB Cho.003)
- White Thunder (CAB Cho.003)
- Brother-to-All (CAB Cho.007)
- Like-the-Bear (CAB Cho.007)
- White Buffalo (BOU Cho.001)
- Luther Standing Bear (BOU Cho.007 & MEDIUM Cho.010)
More items of interest related to the Carlisle School include outdoor group portraits of Dakota boys and girls (BOU Cho.004 & BOU Cho.005); a view of the Boy's Quarters (BOU Cho.009); studio group portraits of Navajo students (BOU Cho.008); Laguna Pueblo students (CAB Cho.001); and Arapaho students (BOU Cho.009).
Of further note is an outdoor group portrait taken by William H. Tipton of nearly thirty Cheyenne and Arapaho parents and Carlisle students visiting the Gettysburg battlefield in 1884 (OVERSIZE Tip.001).
Other noted Indian chiefs, leaders and warriors represented in the collection include Wovoka, the Paiute prophet whose preaching formed the basis for the Ghost Dance movement (CAB Butl.001 & CAB Butl.002); Washakie, chief of the Eastern Shoshones (BOU Bak-Joh.001, BOU Bak-Joh.002, CAB Bak-Joh.001 - CAB Bak-John.003, BOU Hay.001 & MEDIUM Hay.001); Osage chief Bacon Rind (MEDIUM Dix.002); Ponca warrior Big Snake (STE MorS.013); Ponca chief Standing Bear (FRAMED 9); Pawnee chief Young Bull (MEDIUM Dix.001); Pawnee warrior Big Spotted Horse (FRAMED 8); Pawnee chief Petalesharo II (STE Carb.002, STE Carb.003 & STE Carb.007); the last "full-blood" Kansa council including Forrest W. Chouteau, Silas Conn, Little Jim, Jesse Mehojah, Roy Monroe and James Pepper (LARGE Uni.002); Hidatsa chief Hard Horn and son Long Arm (STE Gof.005); Bill Jones of the Gros Ventre (BOU Morr.005, BOU Morr.006 & MEDIUM Mat.001); Mandan chief Wa-Shú-Na-Koo-Rá, the son of Chief Four Bears (STE MorS.006); Enoch Hoag, last traditional chief of the Caddo (BOU Len-Saw.010); Northern Arapaho leader Sherman Sage (BOU Hay.001); and Billy Fewell, a Seminole leader and tribal historian of partial African descent (BOU She.001 & MEDIUM Uni.005).
Many images depict encampments, dwellings, dance lodges, and other architectural constructions made by Native Americans as well as American settlers. Particularly noteworthy items include several views of sod buildings (MEDIUM But.001, MEDIUM Uni.013, BOU Tem.001, CAB Tem.001, Albums 4B & Albums 4C); a view by Winter & Brown of two totem poles outside the home of Stikine Tlingit chief Gush Tlein in Wrangel, Alaska (BOU Win-Bro.001); Hidatsa and Mandan structures in Like-a-Fishhook Village at Fort Berthold Agency taken by Stanley J. Morrow (STE MorS.011, STE MorS.012 & STE MorS.030); stereographs by John Carbutt showing Pawnee mud lodges and drying racks laden with sliced pumpkin rinds (STE Carb.004 & STE Carb.005); views showing Ho Chunk chipotekes (STE Ben.002, STE Ben.003 & BOU Ten.001); and buildings and agricultural works at Zuni Pueblo (STE Wheeler.016 & STE Wheeler.018).
Numerous photographs pertain to dance ceremonies, including images related to the Sun Dance, Ghost Dance, Grass Dance, Fox Dance, "Squaw Dance," and more. Photographs related to Fourth of July ceremonies are also prevalent. After the Religious Crimes Code was first enacted in 1884, traditional Native American customs and dances began to be forbidden on reservations. In response, many tribes started using the Fourth of July (which generally overlapped with the historic timing of Sun Dance festivities) as a means of expressing traditional aspects of their cultures while simultaneously displaying patriotism for the United States of America, something which was actively encouraged by Indian Agents.
Items of particular interest with regards to Native American Fourth of July celebrations include an image of what possibly may be Lakota/Dakota dancers in the middle of a performance (LARGE Uni.004); two Trager & Kuhn photographs of Lakota chiefs involved in Fourth of July celebrations at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (BOU Tra-Kuh.007 & BOU Tra-Kuh.015); a view of a large Plains Indian encampment gathered for Fourth of July in 1892 (BOU Uni.001); three photographs by White's Studio related to Fourth of July celebrations by the Cheyenne and Arapaho at El Reno, Oklahoma Territory, on July 4th 1898 (LARGE Whi.001 - LARGE Whi.003); a Norman A. Forsyth photograph of a Kootenai "Sun Dance" lodge being assembled in 1904 (STE For.001); a Frank Bennett Fiske photograph showing tipis painted for a Fourth of July gathering at Standing Rock Reservation (OVERSIZE Fis.001); five photographs by Sumner W. Matteson taken during a Fourth of July celebration among the Gros Ventre on Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Montana (MEDIUM Mat.001 - MEDIUM Mat.005); a panoramic photograph by H. C. Chaufty depicting a "Sun Dance" gathering in 1909 (FRAMED 4); and two photographs related to a Fourth of July parade involving a group of Menominee Indian men, women, boys, and girls (MEDIUM Joh.002 & MEDIUM Joh.003). Three of the Fanny Hoyt albums (Albums 4C, Albums 4D & Albums 4H), the John Alvin Anderson Album (Albums 1) and the Osage Indians Photograph Album (Albums 2) also contain images related to Fourth of July celebrations.
The Pohrt Collection is particularly rich with photographic examples of Native American material culture in part due to the collection creator Richard Pohrt, Jr.'s own personal interest in that subject. Numerous images show various elements of clothing & dress such as shell and bead necklaces, bear claw necklaces, otter fur and cloth turbans, feather and porcupine fur headdresses, breechcloths, buckskins, dresses trimmed with real and/or imitation elk teeth, gorgets, cinder goggles, cloth and fur hair wraps, hats, otter fur and hairpipe breastplates, bow and rifle cases, face and body paint, presidential peace medals, blankets, robes, bandolier bags, moccasins, and articles of clothing embroidered with beadwork, porcupine quillwork, and silk ribbon applique. A number of images also contain examples of traditional weaponry including tomahawks, war clubs, bows and arrows, spears, shields, knives, and coup sticks. Richard Pohrt, Jr. has provided extensive notes regarding elements of material culture that have been incorporated into individual catalog records.
Several photographs present in the collection especially highlight the issues of cultural appropriation and racism with regards to Native Americans. Photographs in which white American subjects appear dressed in "traditional" Native American clothing include an outdoor group portrait by W.E. Vilmer showing a group of white children dressed in Indian costumes (OVERSIZE Vil.001); a studio group portrait by Hans H. Stolze of two white men wearing Indian costumes and holding pistols (CAB Stol.001); and a group portrait showing a room of white men and women dressed in Indian costumes related to an unidentified branch of the Improved Order of Red Men (MEDIUM Uni.011). Also present are two photographs that were used as exhibit pieces by the Western Americana collector Charles Frederick Fish during the Second International Congress of Eugenics Exhibit of Scientific Studies at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in 1921; the first photograph is a studio group portrait by E.E. Henry of four Nez Percé chiefs including Chief Joseph, Charles Moses, and Yellow Bull while they were being held as prisoners of war at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (BOU Hen.001); the second photograph is a studio portrait of the Apache chief Bonito by Ben Wittick (BOU Wit.003).
Numerous photographs in the collection contain culturally sensitive content, including images related to sacred ceremonies that were often photographed under duress and/or without explicit permission (such as photographs related to Ghost and Sun Dance ceremonies); images of Native American graves; and images of actual deceased Native American persons, such as the Trager & Kuhn photographs showing the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Other culturally sensitive photographs not mentioned elsewhere in this Finding Aid include a staged view by George W. Bretz showing two U.S. Army soldiers and two unidentified Native American men horsing around in a sweat lodge at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, in what appears to be a mock imprisonment scene (CAB Bre.006); a view by Edward De Groff of a Tlingit grave and cremation ground in Juneau, Alaska (BOU Deg.003); an outdoor group portrait by W. H. Partridge of an Aak'w Kwáan Tlingit family that appears to be dressed for a mourning ceremony (BOU Par.004); and a postmortem portrait of a Sarsi woman sitting at the bedside of her deceased daughter (LARGE Uni.001).
Photographs that have been deemed to contain culturally sensitive content will not be made digitally accessible and will only be available for use in the reading room.
See Additional Descriptive Data Section for more comprehensive listing of subject terms, tribal names, personal names, and contributors.