DescriptionELEVEN PHOTOGRAPHS OF CROW INDIANS
c. 1898 - 1900
Eleven prints of Crow Indians by Fred E. Miller, each mounted on board.
1) Curly, a scout for General George Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, with his wife, Used as a Shield, and daughter, Crow Agency, Montana, c. 1898. Curly wears a gingham shirt and wool leggings made from a "candy-stripe," Hudson's Bay Company blanket.
2) Grave markers and monument on Last Stand Hill, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana, 1898. The cross marks the location where Gen. George A. Custer was killed.
3) Hot Dance near Crow Agency, Montana, 1898. On a hot summer afternoon most of these dancers wear little more than breech cloths and beaded moccasins. The dancer at far right has colored his entire body either white or yellow, with designs scraped in the grease paint with his finger tips.
4) Unidentified Crow man emerging from a sweatlodge. An unseen attendant has just lifted back the canvas covering, A pile of rocks, earlier heated red-hot in an exterior fire, are seen in the lodge at center. While the sweatlodge was covered, water from the enamel pail which has now been moved to the foreground, was tossed onto the rocks, creating a dense steam much like a sauna. In entering the structure, the man had simply dropped his blanket wrap onto the ground at left. After rinsing himself with cold water from the pail, he would reclaim the blanket and walk to his nearby tipi.
5) Crow dancers resting under an arbor of cottonwood boughs. Ten senior warriors are seen during an intermission. Many wear eagle-feather headdresses. Two carry painted-muslin dance shields. One man has an otter-fur-wrapped crooked lance identifying him as an officer of one of the Warrior Societies.
6) Coyote, a Crow man smoking in his tipi home, 1898. He is dressed for a Hot Dance, wearing breech cloth, beaded panel belt and an eagle-feather headdress. A large ermine skin, the emblem of Crow chieftainship, hangs from his beaded armband. A pocket knife, pipe stem and lariat lie on the ground.
7) Elderly Crow warrior sitting in the sun, wearing only a breech cloth, c. 1900. His battle coups and devotional flesh sacrifices are marked in black (victory) paint on his limbs. The lines on his right forearm tally his major battle coups; the horse tracks on his right shoulder and chest highlight flesh sacrifices made as devotional prayers for the boon of horses, which later were captured from the enemy.
8) Crow woman, Lives High, holding her baby aloft in a beaded cradle to be blessed by the Sun, c. 1900. The location is the quadrangle at Crow Agency, Montana. The recently planted cottonwood saplings seen in the background are now gnarled and towering trees which shade the Agency grounds.
9) Sweat lodge ceremony, 1898. The men, from left, are: Big Medicine, Chief of Police at Crow Agency, Montana; Alligator Stands Up; and Fog in the Morning. The Crow word baruksaam, inaccurately translated as "alligator," refers to mystical, underwater creatures believed to inhabit the rivers of the High Plains.
10) Crow women gambling with bone or plum-seed dice tossed in a wooden bowl, 1898. Wearing leather moccasins, calico dresses and silk scarves tied over their neatly braided hair, the attention of all but the seated woman at far right is upon the throw.
11) Hot Dance, Crow Reservation, Montana, 1898. Spectators on horseback surround men dancing around a U.S. Flag, perhaps on the 4th of July. The dancer in the foreground is leading a horse as he mimes one of the four "great coups" required for Crow chieftainship, stealing a male horse from inside an enemy camp.
Dimensions: exposed images, 4 ½ x 6 ½ inches each; mounts, 8 x 10 inches each
Condition report available upon request.
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