From Publishers Weekly
Many people may be familiar with Curtis's iconic photographs of Native American warriors and chiefs, but this beautiful collection from Cardozo, the world's leading authority on Curtis, presents rarely seen images of Native American women, all dating back to the early 20th century. Some of the images capture women in natural situations, like gathering berries or cradling a baby, but most are posed portraits, with the women staring directly into the camera, their eyes seeming to penetrate the page. Curtis's photos illuminate the depths of these women's personalities despite their stoic expressions. As Anne Makepeace writes in her introduction, "some of the women seem to be asking him, what will become of us? ... Still others stare boldly at the camera, their proud expressions declaring, 'This is who I am.'" This electrifying sense of personal connection is what makes these photographs so powerful-and so haunting. From a wrinkled Chinook woman staring sadly into the lens to a young Clayoquot girl playfully peeking from behind a blanket, these images capture the essence of what it meant to be a Native American female in the early 1900s. 100 four-color photos.
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Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) was Seattle's favorite portrait photographer, but he left his plush life behind after photographing Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle, to embark on what became a 30-year odyssey to document the threatened world of Native Americans. His phenomenal photographs are well known and well published, but never before have his exceptionally regal and sensitive photographs of women been the focus of attention as they are in this stunning volume. Curtis expert Cardozo provides lively commentary, and in her graceful foreword, Louise Erdrich notes the mutual "intensity of regard" between Curtis and his subjects, and observes that "loss trembles in the background." But also present in these masterpieces of rapport are beauty, strength, radiant intelligence, even amusement, as Native women of marvelous diversity and all ages pilot a canoe, make pottery, weave a blanket, nurse their children. And as documentary filmmaker Anne Makepeace recounts, for today's Native women, Curtis' detailed photographs of their foremothers have been invaluable in their efforts to ensure that their traditions remain vital. Donna SeamanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved