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In Pictures: Native Americans

Fearing that the Native Americans were at risk of disappearing for good, one man set out to keep their memory alive...
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EDWARD CURTIS: THE SHADOW CATCHER

AT A GLANCE

In 1900, American photographer Edward Sheri Curtis embarked on a mission that consumed his life – documenting the cultures of Native American peoples before they were lost forever. For three decades, the arduous yet aweinspiring work was his obsession, costing him his marriage and health as well as leaving him broke. But by 1930, 20 volumes of his stunning and poignant photographs had been published in his masterpiece, entitled The North American Indian. To some of the 80 tribes he spent time with, Curtis was the ‘Shadow Catcher’, but what he captured was something far more important: life.

DISAPPEARING LAND

The Klamath – whose chief is seen here, overlooking their sacred Crater Lake – used to thrive over 23 million acres.

As the United States spread further west during the 19th century, Native American tribes lost their ancestral lands and were forced to resettle, most often in small reservations.

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The January 2016 issue of History Revealed