c. 1890 Crazy Bear (Mato Gnaskiyan), Oglala, by John W. Trager for the Northwestern Photographic Company, Chadron, Nebraska, 1890. Note that it was copyrighted January 1, 1891, two days after the Wounded Knee massacre. Title as ink inscription, verso: "in Ghost Dance suit; killed in Wounded Knee Battle." Albumen cabinet card.

    Printed advertisements, verso: "E.F. King, Black Hills Jeweler, Deadwood, S.D."; "Epilepsy Cured [by] the waters from the famous Minne Pazuta Springs"; & "Views [of] Wounded Knee Battle, Indian Camps, War Camps, Indian Chiefs."

    It is extremely unlikely that Crazy Bear was killed at Wounded Knee. The victims were mostly Miniconjou refugees from the Cheyenne River Reservation, whereas Crazy Bear was an Oglala already at Pine Ridge, where Trager had photographed him the previous summer. Rather than wearing a "Ghost suit," he has a striped calico shirt, wool leggings and beaded moccasins, standard dress for the Grass Dance, a social ceremony. A wooden-handled quirt hangs from his right wrist and he grasps a carved-wooden replica of a carbine, used during the dancing to mime prior war deeds. His headdress is a bear-fur cap with attached cloth trailer supporting eagle feathers, seen at the left.

    Dimensions: image 4 x 7 inches

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    12th Saturday
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