Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sepia Saturday: A Modern Day Edward S. Curtis

In my somewhat-sporadic Sepia Saturday posts,
I’ve sometimes featured images of Native Americans
by Edward S. Curtis, taken a century ago.

Edward S. Curtis Photograph of Si Wa Wata Wa, Zuni tribe -
from the Edward S. Curtis Collection, Library of Congress

He was funded by J.P. Morgan, a wealthy industrialist,
to photograph indigenous peoples before
their way of life was lost forever.

Photograph of Buffalo Dancers - from the Edward S. Curtis Collection, Library of Congress

Now, a young photographer named Matika Wilbur,
a member of the Swinomish and Tulalip tribes

Hand-tinted Matika Wilbur image from her website

of coastal Washington, is setting off
on a 3-year venture to create images of tribal peoples
from each of the 564 federally-enrolled tribes.

Her work is superb and explores the poignant topic
of what it means to be “Indian.”

Unlike Curtis, she doesn't have a wealthy industrialist bankrolling her.
She's cobbling together moneys from individual donors and various grants.

I helped her reach her seed money goal on Kickstarter,
But if you’re interested in helping her realize her vision,
Please visit her website and contact her.


Anonymous said...

What beautiful face on the first picture! Very impressive!

Kathy said...

Beautiful photographs! I'm glad to know that Mr. Chase used some of his money for this worthy project - and good to learn about Ms. Wilbur's project.

Karen S. said...

How interesting! Excellent photos too, and the name dropping of Morgan has been in lots of my research lately...amazing times they were then as yet today they are-in so many other avenues, right!

Bob Scotney said...

A beautiful young lady and very photogenic. Hope she succeeds with her photography.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

The Kickstarted concept is so great. I love just thumbing through all the projects to see the amazing creativity and energy amassed there. What an admirable goal she has..I'll visit her project.

L. D. Burgus said...

It will be an interesting project for her to do. The recording of history of people through photographs no matter what century is an important thing to do.

Jana Last said...

Wonderful photography!

Wendy said...

Sounds like a very worthwhile project.

Postcardy said...

The Indian project sounds interesting. I didn't know there were that many different tribes.

Rob From Amersfoort said...

564 tribes, that's a lot! I hope every photo turns out like the one shown.

Tattered and Lost said...

How blessed are we to have the work Curtis did?

Her work is quite wonderful. I hope people click on the "We Are One People" link and not stop on her more commercial work.

She'll have her work cut out for her in California alone because we have over 100 recognized nations. At one time I believe there were over 500.

Kat Mortensen said...

The images are stunning. I'm sure her work will be successful.

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

I love Edward Curtis's Native American photography. I have a book at home I picked up at a used book store of photos taken in the early 20th century of Native Americans by a monk, I believe, I can't remember his name, but the work was wonderful as well.