Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

These photos by legendary photographer Edward Curtis show Native American life at the beginning of the 20th century


Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) came to prominence as a photographer of Native Americans during a time when Indian tribes were being forced onto reservations and their children were being sent off to boarding schools to “assimilate” them into American life.

Curtis was born on a farm in rural Wisconsin where he lived until his family moved to Minnesota in 1874. When he turned 17 in 1885, Edward became an apprentice photographer in St. Paul. Just two years later, his father’s declining health forced the family to move west in search of a better climate.

They settled in the Puget Sound area of Washington, and Edward purchased a partnership in a Seattle photo studio. This first partnership lasted about six months before he left it and entered a new partnership with photographer Thomas Guptill. The studio was called Curtis and Guptill.


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