Description

    PAWNEE "DOCTOR" OR PIPE PRIEST WITH WIFE and ALONE
    c.1895 Pawnee "Doctor," or Pipe Priest & Wife. Unknown photographer, probably at Pawnee, Oklahoma Territory, c. 1895. Silver-gelatin prints.

    The woman wears a cotton dress and a satinette wrap colorfully embroidered with silk ribbons. While the painted backdrop and the man's clothing are similar in both photos, the differences in surrounding props and the floor coverings indicate the pictures were made on separate occasions. Although by this date most Pawnee men wore their hair long, or barbered in Euro-American style, this religious leader has recently had his scalp plucked in traditional fashion, with the hair surrounding a central crest just beginning to grow back. He displays the sacred pipe which is indicative of his office, together with a "head & tail" fan, made of the entire skin of a golden eagle with the wings removed. The bird's tail is held as a fan, used in ceremony to waft the fumes of ceremonial incense, while the bird's head may be seen hanging below. He wears various beaded necklaces in the dual sittings, and two "peace medals. The larger one of these is a commercially-produced "George Washington" medallion, popular with Plains Indian leaders of the period, while the smaller one appears to be of U.S. government issue, presented for valued service. It is likely this man was one of the famous Pawnee Scouts who, during the 1865-1877 period, served as auxiliaries to the U.S. army.

    Dimensions: each image 6 x 8 inches


    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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