January 8, 2019

Northern Cheyenne children and their playhouses

It's always hard to find vintage pictures of kids with their toys. I found this image from 1907 in the Library of Congress. This photo of Cheyenne girls playing displaying their dolls and doll-sized teepees is unusual in its casual empathy.

I wondered about the context of the image and found the photographer Julia Tuell was a young missionary assigned to the Lame Deer Agency in Montana. I haven't found a good complete archive of her photos, but many are striking in their intimacy such as this image of Cheyenne sun dance ceremony preparations. Scans of two of her photobooks can be found at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West: Julia Tuell 1, Julia Tuell 2. It's important to remember that adults in the community would have lived through Custer's massacres and were entering a period of bewildering change and oppression. Imagine the impression made by a Cheyenne-speaking white woman carrying a large Kodak camera.

posted at 03:52 PM by raul

Filed under: photography

TAGS: montana (1) Native American (1) toys (1) vintage photography (1)

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