There are very few men, women, and children who know about the work of Edward S. Curtis. In 1906, the talented and very bold photographer was offered $75,000 to document the lives of North American Indians.
Banker J.P Morgan offered up the cash for 25 sets of 20 photo volumes. Excited about the adventure, Curtis sought to reveal the fragile humanity of North American Indians, rather than as savages. What he discovered was a way of life that was authentic, natural, and beautiful. The photographer gained the trust of those he observed, and he was taken in as one of their own.
At this time, Native Americans were being stripped of their land and personal rights. Sadly enough, only a handful of Curtis’ photos were ever published. But thankfully, the Library of Congress has preserved the collection.
The above slideshow includes 20 of our favorite.