Navajo saying

Navajo image and quote
Six Navajo on horseback, ca. 1904
Library of Congress. Edward S. Curtis collection
Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. 
Navajo quote.


Sioux saying

Sioux Chiefs, c.1905, Edward S. Curtis Collection
 Sioux Chiefs, c.1905,
Washington, DC Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.,
Edward S. Curtis Collection
A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass.
Sioux saying


Cheyenne saying

Lone chief - Cheyenne.
 Hand printed on housing folder: Black Wolf.
Edward S. Curtis Collection (Library of Congress).

A danger foreseen is half avoided.
Cheyenne saying.


An Apache. 1880.

An Apache. Photo by F.A. Hartwell, Phoenix, AZ. 1880 Source - Library of Congress
Even your silence holds a sort of prayer.
Apache proverb.

Photograph shows head-and-shoulders portrait of an Apache man, facing front, wearing a bandana around his neck.

Created / Published
Phoenix, A.T. : F.A. Hartwell, [between 1880 and 1890]

-  Title from item.
-  Stamp on back: "St. Claire & Pratt, Stationers and Jewelers, Phoenix, Arizona."
-  No. 5.
-  Written in pencil on back: "Included in: 1890, Apr. 7 letter, D. Dorchien to E.W. Halford."
-  Forms part of : Visual materials from the Benjamin Harrison papers.

Source: Library of Congress


Geronimo's camp before surrender to General Crook, March 27, 1886

"Geronimo's camp before surrender to General Crook, March 27, 1886: Geronimo and Natches mounted; Geronimo's son (Perico) standing at his side holding baby."

Photo copyrighted by C. S. Fly. No. 171. (see stamp on image) - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division.

C.S. Fly was Camillus "Buck" Sydney Fly (May 2, 1849 – October 12, 1901) a photographer in Tombstoe Arizona, who captured the only known images of Geronimo before he surrendered.

This image and others were printed in C. S. FLY AT CAÑON DE LOS EMBUDOS: American Indians as Enemy in the Field A Photographic First by Jay Van Orden        
The Journal of Arizona History
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 319-346
CAÑON DE LOS EMBUDOS translates to Canyon of the Funnels in Mexico.
In 1886 C. S. Fly accompanied General George Crook into the Sierra Madre Mountains and to the Canyon de Los Embudos. Crook held a peace conference with the Apache leader Geronimo and his people. His photos of Geronimo and the other Apaches, taken in March, are only the known photographs taken of an American Indian while still at war with the United States.

Huachuca Illustrated - Fort Huachuca and the Geronimo Campaign (PDF) it is described how Fly staged the historic photographs:
Tombstone photographer Fly kept busy with his camera, posing his Apache models with a nerve that would have reflected undying glory on a Chicago drummer. He coolly asked Geronimo and the warriors with him to change positions, and turn their heads or faces, to improve the negative. None of them seemed to mind him in the least except Chihuahua, who kept dodging behind a tree, but at last caught by the dropping of the slide.
In 1905 C.S. Fly's wife Mary “Mollie” née McKie published a collection of her husband's Indian campaign photographs entitled Scenes in Geronimo's Camp: The Apache Outlaw and Murderer. 


Two Sac and Fox Braves

Sac and Fox Nation
Title: Attendees of the 1898 Indian Congress : Two Little Braves (Sac & Fox)
Creator: Frank A. Rinehart (1861-1928)
Date created: 1898-1899
One of the prominent Indian tribes in Illinois were the Fox and Sacs (Sauk)
Description: Rinehart, a commercial photographer in Omaha, Nebraska, was commissioned to photograph the 1898 Indian Congress, part of the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition. More than five hundred Native Americans from thirty-five tribes attended the conference, providing the gifted photographer and artist an opportunity to create a stunning visual document of Native American life and culture at the dawn of the 20th century. Although the portraits are posed and artistically lighted in his studio, they have a candid intimacy that allows his subjects individuality and dignity, a quality not shared by most 19th-century ethnographic photography.
Rinehart printed the photographs as platinum prints, a photographic medium known for its delicate tonal range and permanence.

Sac and Fox Nation: The Meskwaki (sometimes spelled Mesquakie) were called Fox by Anglo-Americans and name Sauk was anglicised to Sac. They were two distinct tribes from the Northeast woodland area with a similar languages and culture.  It was not until 1734 that the Sac and Fox tribes joined in an alliance and extended westward beyond the Mississippi. Under US government recognition treaties, officials treat the two tribes as a single political unit.
The Northeastern Woodlands (dark green) includes
the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada

"The Sac and Fox culture is based upon respect for the life within themselves, their families, their communities, and all of creation. The Creator gave this way of life to the Sac and Fox people. The culture is the way things are done in relation to each other and all of creation. The Sac and Fox way of life is spiritually-based. They seek the guidance of the Creator in how to live. The oldest continuing religious practices are ceremonies like clan feasts, namings, adoptions, and burials." Sac & Fox Nation

1857 photograph of the "Mesquakie Indians responsible for the establishment of the Meskwaki Settlement" in Tama County, Iowa, Minnesota Historical Society.


Big Thunder of the Wabanaki

quote by Big Thunder native american indian

The Great Spirit is in all things: he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the earth is our mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Bedagi

Bedagi, also known as Big Thunder was a Penobscot (traditionally known as the penawahpskewi) Wabanaki Algonquin.

Bedagi or big thunder
 Big Thunder, late chief of the Penobscot Indians. Aged 90.
From Penn Museum: A Visit to the Penobscot Indians  

"Towering in height and personality, Frank “Big Thunder” Loring, Penobscot, (1827-1906) was a leader among Wabanakis who commercialized their public identities to make a living. Loring was a performer, producer, and promoter of “Indian entertainments,” and his name appeared in dozens of newspapers across New England, especially Maine.
Off stage, he was a hunter, guide, medicine man, and tribal leader. Clever in the marketplace, he boosted sales of Wabanaki relics and crafts by telling captivating stories about the objects and himself." Mount Desert Island

The term Wabanaki, which has been translated as “People of the Dawn” or “Dawnlanders,” arose during the 1700s to refer to the Wabanaki Confederacy of tribes that had banded together for military and political strength. Wabanaki is now used as an umbrella term for all the Native peoples on the Maritime peninsula (Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) and the Abenaki peoples of Quebec, Vermont and New Hampshire.
Abenaki should not be applied as an umbrella term for all the tribes – use Wabanaki. Abenaki refers to the Native peoples of Vermont and New Hampshire who do not have federal status in the U.S. [but do have state status in Vermont] and to the Abenaki Tribe with reserves in Quebec.
In Maine, there are 4 federally recognized Indian Tribes. These are:
a. The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
b. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs c. The Penobscot Indian Nation
d. The Passamaquoddy Tribe


Red Cloud quote

native american quote by Red Cloud

I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation.
We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right.
Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world.
We do not want riches. We want peace and love.


Chief Iron Tail, Oglala Lakota chief of the Great Sioux Nation

Chief Iron Tail, 1898,
photo by Gertrude Kasebier,  U.S. Library of Congress
Chief Iron Tail was one of the most famous Native American celebrities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Iron Tail (Siŋté Máza in his language) was an Oglala Lakota chief.(1842 - 1916)
Indian Head Nickel, 1913

Iron Tail is notable in American history for fighting at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, his profile on the Buffalo nickel or Indian Head nickel of 1913 to 1938 and being a performer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

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Major Israel McCreight, expert on Native American culture and friend of Iron Tail, reported: "Iron Tail was not a war chief and no remarkable record as a fighter. He was not a medicine man or conjuror, but a wise counselor and diplomat, always dignified, quiet and never given to boasting. He seldom made a speech and cared nothing for gaudy regalia, very much like the famed War Chief Crazy Horse. In this respect he always had a smile and was fond of children, horses and friends."

Chief Iron Tail in Long Bonnet



The Cherokee refer to themselves as Ani-Yunwiya (ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ), which means "Principal People. "Cherokee Indians originally called themselves Aniyunwiya, "the principal people," but today they accept the name Cherokee, which is spelled and pronounced Tsalagi in their own languages.
The traditional Cherokee society is matrilineal and therefore one’s clan is obtained through the mother. Other examples of tribes based on kinship with the mother or the female line include the Choctaw, Gitksan, Haida, Hopi, Iroquois, Lenape, Navajo and Tlingit.
The Cherokees lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains known in Georgia as the Blue Ridge, including much of the Blood Mountain.

Map of Cherokee Indian territory 1830
1830 Map of Georgia with detail showing the Cherokee territory
by Anthony Finley Co. of Philadelphia
They spoke an Iroquoian language, while most of their indigenous neighbours spoke languages of the Muskogean, Algonquian, or Siouan language families.

They were close allies of the British for much of the eighteenth century trading tools, weapons, and other manufactured goods for their deerskins. They easily took on the English clothing and traditions.

Cherokee native american indians
The Three Cherokees came over from the head of the River Savanna to London in 1762.
From l to r: Outacite (Man-killer), Austenaco (Judd's friend), and Uschesees ye Great Hunter (Cunne Shote?)

Source: Tom Hatley, The Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians through the Era of Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1993).