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Thread: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

  1. #11
    Foamer
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Yeah, pow wows. Most of them seem to be synonymous with "Generic Indians Welcome; please watch a few John Wayne Movies first". Right across the deep river canyon from my place, a couple of my old high school buddies and running partners, both full-blooded local tribe members, have been attempting to keep some authentic culture alive by founding a school teaching the local dialect, and through interviews with the few remaining elderly persons who, while they were still alive, remembered a bit of pre-white times, including a lot of native plant knowledge. I commend that; and it's something I've done myself decades ago, when it was still possible.

    But pulling directly the opposite direction, right down the creek, there was a colony of wannabees, or what I term Hippie Indians, doing all the make-believe nonsense. An authentic local basket by one of my mother's friends might easily sell for ten or twenty thousand dollars to a serious collector. The Smithsonian collected quite a few. Many of these are so tightly woven that they're watertight without any use of pitch. The mafia even raided the little neighborhood museum, and sold the baskets on the black market. But the baskets the Hippie Indians weave look like they were purchased for $1.99 apiece at some shopping mall craft store.

    None of that malarkey in South Dakota. I personally know some who participate in pow wows and have photo's a few and chatted with them.


    Kent in SD
    In contento ed allegria
    Notte e di vogliam passar!

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    I have been to public Pow Wows

    Chicago ghettos' have plenty Lost Peoples

    A good friend First Peoples/First Nations

    Sneering at everything is very distressing

    Stop it!
    Tin Can

  3. #13
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    I bought this Navajo vase in Monument Valley motel owned by them on their nation lands and even got 25% off. Are you telling me it was made in China?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC01972.jpg  

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    Native crafts are an important source of income in that whole region, Alan. The best prices are generally found in Gallup, New Mexico, near the Zuni reservation. Dealers often go there and purchase things wholesale, and take them back to their own galleries and retail stores in other states, where they mark up the price dramatically. But there are galleries and "trading posts" on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations too. Just like any other fashion of art work, the price of something varies with the reputation of its producer, as well as the exact venue where it's sold at, also seasonality and just how desperate things get financially. Sometimes jewelry is actually sold at a loss by Zuni craftsmen to Gallup pawn shops when times are hard.

    It's not uncommon for roadside trinket stands at canyon overlooks and so forth to sell faux items like bead necklaces and baskets made in Taiwan or China. Legit venues will have very specific certificates of authentication, where an item came from, and who exactly made it. This is often based on very tight personal connections to the artists and craftsmen involved.

    Vases? - they can cost anywhere from fifteen buck to hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece, depending. I had to make an inspection call on a plush house up on the hill owned by a couple who were both big corporate lawyers. They had two truly huge vases made by RC Gorman, as well as several commissioned portraits (big oil paintings) by him too. Those items probably cost over a million dollars apiece. They were so paranoid of theft and earthquakes that all of that was heavily bolted in place. When the terrible and very sudden Oakland fire occurred two decades ago, they had to leave all that behind, and the entire house itself, and all their art collection inside, was totally destroyed.

  5. #15

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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    On the Reservation nearest us there is still a FREE PELTIER sign along the main road as you drive through it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Peltier

    Still a lot of resentment over his prison term up here.

    We do have some original "Bark Biting" birch bark art pieces. They collect the birch bark and make, then frame the original pieces.

    https://www.dl-online.com/moorhead-w...ch-bark-biting

    The Reservation Radio Station plays music from local bands and performers regularly. You haven't lived until you have heard THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT in Hidatsa.(tribal language of the Chippewa) sung by guys who can't stay on pitch.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    We have a somewhat illiterate fellow in this area who goes around spray painting "Free Peltier" slogans around the freeway as well as "Poisun" on treated park fence poles. That's not a good rabbit hole to go down, Willie. I actually worked with someone very much in the know about what is really behind that case, who is married to a Lakota woman, and got into a lot of trouble for refusing to go undercover for the FBI, which would have probably proved fatal if he had. Interesting history, for sure, but still a minefield otherwise, with still classified undertones unknown by the public.

    Most of California and the Great Basin never had distinct tribal nationalities or large reservations. Most of our reservations are small violent Rancherias. Fortunately, a lot of Indians live on their own ranches peripheral to those, and escape the worst of it. Some of the casinos are based on totally fictitious tribes, and are basically gagster operations anyway. There's one just a short drive down the street from us here, in the adjacent city, which was a bowling alley prior to being proclaimed a reservation (with no Indians on it, even in the past), mostly Vietnamese loan sharks instead, who give only one repayment warning at most before rough becomes fatal, along with local pimps and hookers.

    Pow wows were unknown until the activist era of Alcatraz occupation days. The Ghost Dance cult did go through my former mountain community around 1872, but immediately fizzled. Aboriginally, there were bear dances with shamans wearing grizzly hides. But each tiny hamlet was its own political entity, religions very simple, and dialects were innumerable. Nothing like the Great Plains, Southwest, or Eastern tribes.

  7. #17
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    We have a somewhat illiterate fellow in this area who goes around spray painting "Free Peltier" slogans around the freeway as well as "Poisun" on treated park fence poles. That's not a good rabbit hole to go down, Willie. I actually worked with someone very much in the know about what is really behind that case, who is married to a Lakota woman, and got into a lot of trouble for refusing to go undercover for the FBI, which would have probably proved fatal if he had. Interesting history, for sure, but still a minefield otherwise, with still classified undertones unknown by the public.

    Most of California and the Great Basin never had distinct tribal nationalities or large reservations. Most of our reservations are small violent Rancherias. Fortunately, a lot of Indians live on their own ranches peripheral to those, and escape the worst of it. Some of the casinos are based on totally fictitious tribes, and are basically gagster operations anyway. There's one just a short drive down the street from us here, in the adjacent city, which was a bowling alley prior to being proclaimed a reservation (with no Indians on it, even in the past), mostly Vietnamese loan sharks instead, who give only one repayment warning at most before rough becomes fatal, along with local pimps and hookers.

    Pow wows were unknown until the activist era of Alcatraz occupation days. The Ghost Dance cult did go through my former mountain community around 1872, but immediately fizzled. Aboriginally, there were bear dances with shamans wearing grizzly hides. But each tiny hamlet was its own political entity, religions very simple, and dialects were innumerable. Nothing like the Great Plains, Southwest, or Eastern tribes.


    Could it be that the Spaniards broke up the nations in CA before the Americans arrive?

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    Good question, Alan. The Spanish invaders sure made a mess, but only got so far. They outright destroyed with fire the highly populated villages along what was then a huge inland lake in the San Joaquin Valley. Basically a genocide. Many Indians along with southern coast of CA were forcibly relocated to the Missions, where most died from European diseases. That story is well known. Then the next huge change came with the Gold Rush, and the displacement or killing of many native groups in what is now termed the Mother Lode belt of the lower west slope of the Sierra Nevada range. But there were still considerable numbers living elsewhere or otherwise largely unaffected. There was also a fair amount of intermarriage, as well as quite a few who went to work for whites in ranches and logging operations etc.

    I was from an an area just south of the Mother Lode, which had some gold mines, but didn't draw the hordes of miners which the Gold Rush to the north did. The Indians up there in the hills were of Paiute extraction, and themselves had entirely displaced, or in a few cases, deliberately exterminated, the previous tribes who once lived on the Western slope. Big powerful people, and the Spanish didn't dare mess with them. The Spanish weren't suited for mountain skirmishes anyway. These locals were never really defeated. Rather, they gradually assimilated and intermarried to a degree, and themselves became ranchers and loggers etc. But there were still skirmishes and barn burnings right up to around 1915. I actually knew elderly white and Indian neighbors who had shot at each other back then, when the Indian was still "wild", and the white individual was driving spikes for a narrow gauge RR going into Indian territory. It turned out to be lifelong enmity.

    Just a few weeks ago I reprinted an 8x10 color interneg of bedrock mortars in diorite filled with Spring redbud blossoms. That is how Indians women ground acorns to flour for millennia. And it's amazing to reflect how they were still harvesting acorns in our own yard each fall, and still doing that, and weaving permeable baskets to repeatedly leach the tannic acid out of the acorn flour. But since they didn't make pottery, they wove different baskets watertight, and boiled water in them by dropping hot stones in! And some of the old men were still making arrows and chipping points, but only for sake of nostalgia. All the actual hunting was done with rifles.

    So there was still a major native population when I grew up there; and many of the older ones still retained quite a few of their ancient habits. In other words, with my own eyes I witnessed people going all the way from the stone age to the casino age. Some of the older ones lived to extremely long ages; but very few of my generation lived past 30. What killed them off was abundant alcohol and resultant domestic violence on the reservations. Those on their own private ranches did just fine. Culturally, one of their own described the arrival of casinos as the "Final Solution" to their cultural heritage, that is, its permanent demise. New health clinics were a positive change, and for a few at least, stupendous wealth, but all this also came with an inevitable marriage to organized crime and the gears of political corruption. My own companions from early childhood are among those directly involved.
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 17-Aug-2022 at 19:38.

  9. #19
    Helcio J Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Re: 60 Rare Authentic Native American Photos You Must See Before You Die

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    Some are by Edward Curtis.
    I have a print of what the narrator called, "Navajo Boy" is actually titled, "Son of the Desert".
    There are a few nice books of Edward Curtis' work that are reasonably priced and much better reproductions than the video.
    Thank you for the link!
    Very interesting site.

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