c. 1875

    Yellow Bear, Southern Arapaho, by John K. Hillers at Okmulgee, Indian Territory, May 10, 1875. Mounted on heavy paper mat with ink inscription, probably in the photographer's hand: "Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, J. W. Powell in Charge, Hillers Photo." The subject's name is given incorrectly below the image as "Mon-ta-vo-ints." See the discussion for Lot 55134.

    Yellow Bear wears nickel-silver arm bands and bracelets, with a peace medal on a cord around his neck. Brass shoe buttons hang from short lengths of chain along the flaps of his wool cloth leggings. The same ornate pipe and beaded tobacco bag seen in Lot 55131 is also carried here. Its actual owner appears to have been the Cheyenne chief White Shield, who is carrying both pipe and bag in the group photo which Hillers made of all the Cheyenne delegates.

    In 1887, Yellow Wolf and the Comanche Head Chief Quannah Parker traveled to Fort Worth, Texas, to negotiate a grazing lease for lands on their reservations. Their cattlemen hosts provided a comfortable suite in the Pickwick Hotel, the city's finest, lighted with a newly-installed system of coal gas. No one thought to explain the dangers of this innovation. When the two men retired for the night, Quannah blew out the lights without turning off the gas jets. When the two chiefs failed to appear the next morning, their hosts broke down the door to the room and carried the unconscious men into the hallway. Quannah survived, but Yellow Bear had died in his bed. He was buried in the Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Lawton, Oklahoma.

    In the NAA collection, #gn_00203, this image is correctly identified. In the Oklahoma Historical Society collection it is misidentified as "Big Mouth." For an 1873 comparative portrait, see NAA#gn_00205.

    Dimensions: image, 7 ¼ x 9 ¼ inches; mount, 13 x 15 inches

    For more information, please click here.

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    Condition report available upon request.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2009
    19th Saturday
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