Spirit Capture: Photographs from the National Museum of the American Indian

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Native Americans have been among the most popular subjects of photography since the invention of the medium more than 150 years ago. One of the most assiduous collectors of Native American objects and images was George Gustav Heye, whose vast collections now form the core of the holdings of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Spirit Capture brings together more than 200 of the most compelling images from the NMAI collection with essays from Native and non-Native historians, ...
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Washington, D.C. 1998 Soft Cover First Edition, First Thus Collectible-New in None as Issued jacket BRAND NEW & Collectible. Photographic essay drawn from archives of the Nat'l ... Museum of the American Indian. of the Smithsonian Institute. A portrait of the indigenous peoples of America in time. The title of the volume is from the last essay by Linda Poolaw of her father, the distinguished Kiowa Indian photographer Horace Poolaw (1906-1984) who produced some 2000 photographs of his community. As she watched her father work, she found the idea that "Indian people do not like to have their photographs taken for fear of spirit capture..." did not hold true for her father. Generally subjects did not refuse Poolaw to take their pictures; it iwas also true that Poolaw voluntarily abstained photographing of sacred cermonial rites. The collection portrays nations of peoples past, and a tribute to mighty spirits gone. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Native Americans have been among the most popular subjects of photography since the invention of the medium more than 150 years ago. One of the most assiduous collectors of Native American objects and images was George Gustav Heye, whose vast collections now form the core of the holdings of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Spirit Capture brings together more than 200 of the most compelling images from the NMAI collection with essays from Native and non-Native historians, anthropologists, and curators. Whether depicting runaway Wyandot girls being returned to their boarding school, a Seminole woman sitting at a sewing machine, or a Yaqui man sporting a pair of bandoliers, the photographs in Spirit Capture attest to the adaptive strength of Native Americans in the face of more than a century of profound economic, political, social, and spiritual change.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The photo archives of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian hold nearly 90,000 images, from daguerrotypes to color slides. This book...provides excellent reproductions of more than 200 of them. The complexity of how Indians of the Western hemisphere were documented and depicted is not lost on the Native American essayists whose perceptive analyses accompany the photos. For instance, Tim Johnson (Mohawk) draws a parallel between developments in photography and events in the lives of Indians. The photographs selected for this book show a greater range of images and contexts than previously published. -- Kathleen Collins, Bank of America Archives, San Francisco
Alan Tack
We are...offered [here] a perspective on Native exereience that no tour guide could offer, that no unaided view of the landscape could provide. -- Native Peoples
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560987659
  • Publisher: Random House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 9.04 (w) x 10.01 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction: Gazes Forward from the Past 1
Photographs by Janine Sarna Jones 25
Ch. 1 An Indian Americas: NMAI Photographic Archive Documents Indian Peoples of the Western Hemisphere 29
Heye's Strategy: Photographs Record Material Acquisitions 58
Transitions and Tribulations: Visible Changes Indicate New Realities 61
Photographs by Larry McNeil 70
Ch. 2 Camera Shots: Photographers, Expeditions, and Collections 77
Photographs by Dorothy Grandbois 107
Ch. 3 Processes and Pictures: The Beginnings of Photography and of Photographing American Indians 113
Photographs by Larry Gus 135
Ch. 4 Developed Identities: Seeing the Stereotypes and Beyond 139
Photographs by Katherine Fogden 161
Ch. 5 Spirit Capture: Observations of an Encounter 167
Photographs by Horace Poolaw 179
Notes 187
Selected Bibliography 193
Contributors 197
Index 201
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