100 Years Ago Real Native Americans Proudly Posed for the Camera: Chiefs, Warriors, and Priests from Some of the Largest Tribes Shown in Newly Colorized Photos
Incredible colorized photographs have brought the history of the Native American people to life.
The fascinating images, dating back more than 100 years, include two cute Ojibwa babies in beautifully decorated cradleboards (traditional baby carriers); Taqui, a Hopi snake priest bedecked in a huge silver necklace; and a family portrait of members of the Ute tribe looking proudly towards the camera.
Other photos show a young Native American man laboring under a huge crop of barley, and three Apache men – Chief James A. Garfield, Pouche Te Foya and Sanches – looking resplendent in their feather headdresses.
Garfield was the revered chief of Apaches, a group of tribes which are similar in culture and speak the same language.
The Ojibwa are one of the largest Native American tribes in North America; the Ute were the last of the Western tribes to be forced onto a reservation; and the Crow, a nomadic tribe of hunters on the Great Plains.
For the most part the Native American tribes lived peaceably, believing that nature was sacred and was to be shared.
However, the coming of the Europeans and the removal of their land led to conflict between the different tribes – and between the Native Americans and the newcomers.
By the end of the 19th century, the tribes had lost their fight to preserve their traditional way of life and those who had survived the conflicts were confined to reservations.
The vivid images, which were taken around the turn of the 20th century, were produced using photochrom; a method of producing colorized photographs from black and white negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.
It was invented in the 1880s and was most popular in the 1890s, when these images were taken. Although true colour photography had been developed by then, it was not commercially practical yet.
Photochrom reproductions became popular due to the craze with sending postcards.