Category Archives: America Indian and aborigin history

The American Indian Geronimo History Collections

American Indian History Collections

Part four

The Unites States Indian part two

Geronimo  Indians


Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Limited private E-BOOK in CD-ROM Edition

Special for Premium member


The American Geronimo Indian

 History Collections


Title : Apache Chiefs Geronimo & Natches; Fort Bowie, Arizona, C.1890

Title : Apache Chief Geronimo at Negotiations with


 Gen. Crook; 1886

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From its founding in 1870 until Geronimo’s capture in 1886, this fort was regularly involved in the Indian Wars of the area. It was first called Camp Ord, in honor of General O.C. Ord, Commander of Arizonawhen it was built in the spring; however, just a few months later, the name was changed to Camp Mogollon in August, then Camp Thomas in September.The post was finally designated as Camp Apache on February 2, 1871 as a token of friendship to the very Indians the fort soldiers would soon spend so many years at war with. The fort’s initial purpose was to guard the nearby White Mountain Reservation and Indianagency.

Camp Apache, 1873, photo by Timothy H. O’ Sullivan

Though its wild frontier days were over, Fort Apache continued as an active post until 1924. The Apache Scouts that had been employed by General Crook were transferred to Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona, where they continued to serve. The last three ApacheScouts retired in 1947.When the fort closed its buildings were turned over to the Bureau of IndianAffairs. Today, several buildings continue to stand on the White Mountain Reservation.The Fort Apache post office occupies the adobe adjutant’s building. A log building, one of the oldest structures and reputedly the residence of General Crook, as well as the stone officers’ quarters, are today the residences of teachers and other Bureau of Indian Affairs employees. The sutler’s store and commissary building, cavalry barns, and guard house have not been significantly altered. One of the original four barracks, an adobe building in bad disrepair, houses the farm shop for the Indian school. The parade ground provides a recreational area. The cemetery no longer contains soldier dead, but does contain the bodies of Indianscouts

Situated at the end of a military road on the White Mountain Reservation, which adjoined the San Carlos Reservation, the fort guarded the White Mountain Agency, while Fort Thomas watched over the San Carlos Agency. However, both reservations would become the focus of Apache unrest, especially after troops moved the troublesome Chiricahuas in 1876 from Fort Bowieto the White Mountain Reservation.In constant turmoil, the reservations were noted for their unhealthful location, overcrowded conditions, and dissatisfied inhabitants. Sparking the discontent were inefficient and corrupt agents, friction between civil and military authorities, feeble attempts to make farmers of the nomadic Indians, and encroachment on the reservations by settlers and miners. As a result, many of the Indiansleft the reservations to resume their hunting, gathering and raiding lifestyle, creating a public outcry from the settlers.In 1871, General George Crook, who had established his reputation as an Indian fighter in the Snake War in Idaho and Oregon was named commander of the Department of Arizona. By August of that year, he recognized that his soldiers were no match for the fierce Apache he was sent to subdue and made his first trip to Fort Apache. At the reservation, he recruited about fifty men to serve as Apache Scouts, who would play a key role in the success of the Army in the ApacheWars which ensued for the next 15 years.After recruiting the scouts, Crook organized his Tonto Basin campaign and moved on to Camp Verde to implement his tactical operations. During the winter of 1872-73, a number of mobile detachments, using Apache scouts, crisscrossed the Tonto Basin and the surrounding tablelands in constant pursuit of renegade Tonto Apaches and their Yavapai allies. After forcing as many as 20 skirmishes, in which some 200 Indianswere killed, they finally began to wear down their quarry.On April 5, 1879, Camp Apache had gained enough significance that it was renamed Fort Apache.

The battles with the Apache continued as the soldiers fought various renegade bands that included such famous warriors as as Geronimo, Natchez, Chato, and Chihuahua. It was only after Geronimo was captured for the the last time in 1886, that the Apache Wars finally came to an end.

The Apache War —Indian scouts on Geronio

 The fort is located at the Fort Apache IndianReservation headquarters, adjacent to the town of Fort Apache. From Globe, take US 60 northeast 66 miles; turn east on State 73 and drive about 27 miles to Fort Apache.Fort Apache Historic ParkPrimary source: National Park Service

The first Commanding Officer’s quarters was constructed in the spring of 1871

The old Fort Apache Adjutant’s Office now serves as the post office, courtesy White Mountain Online



Part Five

The United States  Indians History Collections

Part three


Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Limited private E-BOOK in CD-ROM Edition

Special for Premium member



Yavapai Indian

, Hualapai indian

, Papago indian

, Hopi indian

, Mohave Indian

, Paiute indian

, Yaqui indian

, Havasupai indian’

, Pima indian


Maricopa indian


 sorry illustration bekow not upload,you can look at



Apache is a collective name given to several culturally related tribes that speak variations of the Athapascan language and are of the Southwest cultural area. The Apache separated from the Athapascan in western Canada centuries ago, migrating to the southwestern United States. Although there is some evidence Southern Athapascanpeoples may have visited the Southwest as early as the 13th century AD, most scientists believe they arrived permanently only a few decades before the Spanish.The Zuni, a Pueblo people, gave them the name Apachu, meaning “enemy.” In their dialects, the Apache call themselves Tinneh, Tinde, Dini, or one of several other variations, all meaning “the people.”Early Apache were a nomadic people, ranging over a wide area of the United States, with the MescaleroApache roaming as far south as Mexico. They were primarily hunter-gatherers, with some bands hunting buffalo and some practicing limited farming. 



Apache Before the Storm.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


Men participated in hunting and raiding activities, while women gathered food, wood, and water. Western Apache tribes were matrilineal, tracing descent through the mother; other groups traced their descent through both parents. Polygamy was practiced when economic circumstances permitted and marriage could be terminated easily by either party. Their dwellings were shelters of brush called wickiups, which were easily erected by the women and were well adapted to their arid environment and constant shifting of the tribes. Some families lived in buffalo-hide teepees, especially among the Kiowa-Apache and Jicarilla. The Apache made little pottery, and were known instead for their fine basketwork. In traditional Apache culture, each band was made up of extended families with a headman chosen for leadership abilities and exploits in war.  For centuries they were fierce warriors, adept in wilderness survival, who carried out raids on those who encroached on their territory.Religion was a fundamental part of Apache life. Their pantheon of supernatural beings included Ussen (or Yusn), the Giver of Life, and the ga’ns, or mountain spirits, who were represented in religious rites such as healing and puberty ceremonies. Men dressed elaborately to impersonate the ga’ns, wearing kilts, black masks, tall wooden-slat headdresses, and body paint, and carrying wooden swords.Trade was established between the long established Pueblo peoples and the Southern Athabaskans by the mid 16th century, exchanging maize and woven goods for bison meat, hides and material for stone tools.The Apache and the Pueblos managed to maintain generally peaceful relations; however this changed with the appearance of the Spaniards. Arriving in the mid 1500s, the first Spanish intruders drove northward into Apache territory disrupting the Apache trade connections with neighboring tribes.In April 1541, while traveling on the plains east of the Pueblo region, Francisco Coronado wrote:After seventeen days of travel, I came upon a rancheria of the Indianswho follow these cattle [bison.] These natives are called Querechos. They do not cultivate the land, but eat raw meat and drink the blood of the cattle they kill. They dress in the skins of the cattle, with which all the people in this land clothe themselves, and they have very well-constructed tents, made with tanned and greased cowhides, in which they live and which they take along as they follow the cattle. They have dogs which they load to carry their tents, poles, and belongings. 


When New Mexico became a Spanish colony in 1598, hostilities increased between Spaniards and Apache. One source of the friction with the Spaniards was with the slave traders, who hunted down captives to serve as labor in the silver mines of Chihuahua in northern Mexico. The Apache, in turn, raided Spanish settlements to seize cattle, horses, firearms, and captives of their own.  Before long, the prowess of the Apache in battle became legend. The Apache were not so numerous at the beginning of the 17th century; however, their numbers were increased by captives from other tribes, particularly the Pueblo, Pima, Papago, and other peaceful Indians, as well as white and Spanish peoples. Extending their depredations as far southward as Jalisco, Mexico, the Apache quickly became known for their warlike disposition.Continued Next Page 


Apache women have long been noted for their beautiful woven baskets, 1908.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


Apache Ceremony

An influx of Comanche into traditional Apache territory in the early 1700s forced the Lipan and other Apache to move south of their main food source, the buffalo. These displaced Apache then increased their raiding on the Pueblo Indians and non-Indian settlers for food and livestock.


Apache raids on settlers and migrants crossing their lands continued into the period of American westward expansion and the United States acquisition of New Mexico in 1848. Some Apache bands and the United States military authorities engaged in fierce wars until the Apache were pacified and moved to reservations.


The Mescalero were subdued by 1868 and and a reservation

was established for them in 1873. The Western Apache and their Yavapai allies were subdued in the U.S. military’s Tonto Basin Campaign of 1872-1873.




Apache Dancers, 1906


The Chiricahua Chief Cochise signed a treaty with the U.S. government in 1872 and moved with his band to an Apache reservation in Arizona. But Apacheresistance continued under the Mimbreno Chief Victorio from 1877 to 1880.


Geronimo was one of the fiercest Apache Chiefs

that ever  lived.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!

The last band of Apache raiders, active in ensuing years under the Chiricahua Warrior Geronimo, was hunted down in 1886 and sent first to Florida, then to Alabama, and finally to the Oklahoma Territory, where they settled among the Kiowa-Apache.The major Apache groups, each speaking a different dialect, include the Jicarilla and Mescalero of New Mexico, the Chiricahua of the ArizonaNew Mexico border area, and the Western Apache of Arizona. The Yavapai-Apache Nation Reservation is southwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. Other groups were the Lipan Apache of south-western Texas and the Plains Apache of Oklahoma

The White Mountain Apache Tribe is located in the east central region of Arizona, 194 miles northeast of Phoenix. This group manages the popular Sunrise Park Ski Resort and Fort Apache Timber Company. The Tonto Apache Reservation was created in 1972 near Payson in eastern Arizona. Within the Tonto National Forest, northeast of Phoenix, the reservation consists of 85 acres, serves about 100 tribal members, and operates a casino.

Noted leaders have included Cochise, Mangas Coloradas, Chief Victorio and Geronimo, who the U.S. Army found to be fierce warriors and skillful strategists.

In 2000 U.S. census about 57,000 people identified themselves as Apache only; an additional 40,000 people reported being part Apache. Many Apache live on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Farming, cattle herding, and tourist-related businesses are important economic activities. The modern Apache way of life is a mixture of traditional beliefs and rituals, such as mountain spirit dances, and contemporary American culture.


 © Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated January, 2011. 


Apache Teepees in Arizona, 1907.

  During the days of westward expansion in the United States, the white settlers often encountered the American Indians. Though many of these meetings were peaceful, the cultures more often clashed, resulting in hundreds of battles and skirmishes, between the Indians and pioneers encroaching upon their lands, as well as conflicts between the tribes and the U.S. Army. Though confrontations with the Indians virtually occurred since the first European explorers and settlers set foot on American soil, the “Indian War period” is primarily referred to as occurring between 1866 and 1890. These many conflicts are often overshadowed by other periods of U.S. history.A number of the places at which these battles occurred have been designated as National Historic Sitesand state parks. Others, are simply designated with a historical marker.


Brule War Party.

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Military Campaigns:Old Northwest War – 1790-1795 Tippecanoe – 1811Creek – 1813-1814, 1836Seminole – 1817-1818, 1835, 1842, 1855, 1858Black Hawk – 1832Comanche – 1867-1875Modoc – 1872-1873 Apache – 1873, 1885-1886Little Big Horn – 1876-1877Nez Perce – 1877Bannock – 1878Cheyenne 1878-1879Ute – 1879-1880Pine Ridge – 1890-1891   Indian War TimelineConflicts by State:Arizona California ColoradoIdahoKansasMontanaNebraskaNevadaNorth DakotaOklahomaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWashingtonWyoming   

No loopholes now are framing
Lean faces, grim and brown;
No more keen eyes are aiming
To bring the redskin down.

The plough team’s trappings jingle
Across the furrowed field,
And sounds domestic mingle
Where valor hung its shield.

But every wind careering
Seems here to breathe a song—
A song of brave frontiering—
A saga of the strong.


— Arthur Chapman


Battle of Miami, Miami County, Ohio, artist Alonzo Chappel, 1859.

  One of the most famous Apache leaders to resist westward expansion by white settlers was Cochise of the Chiricahua Apache. Cochise was known to his people as A-da-tli-chi, meaning hardwood, and lived in the area that is now the northern Mexican region of Sonora, as well as New Mexico and Arizona. These lands had long been home to the Apachesuntil the Europeans arrived.However, when the early Spaniards began to encroach upon the Apache, tensions began between the two conflicting cultures. Later, when the Mexicans took over the lands, the Mexican government at first issued food rations to the Apachein order to placate them.Unfortunately, the Apaches became increasingly dependent upon these supplies, which abruptly ceased in 1831. The Chiricahua bands then began to raid to acquire food and the Mexican government retaliated with a series of military operations to attempt to capture or neutralize the Chiricahua.However, they met stiff resistance from Cochise and the other Apache. The Mexican troops then began to kill Apachecivilians, including Cochise’s father, which hardened Cochise’s resolve against the Mexicans. In 1848, Cochise was captured by the Mexican troops but was exchanged for nearly a dozen Mexican hostages. 


Apache Before the Storm.

This image available for photographic prints and  downloads HERE!

Cochise, who was described as a large man (for the time), with a muscular frame, classical Roman features, and long black hair had married Dos-Teh-Seh, the daughter of Mangas Coloradas, in the 1830s. The pair would have two children — Taza, born in 1842, and Naiche, born in 1856.In 1850, New Mexico and Arizonawere annexed by the United States, which ushered in a brief period of relative peace. For more than a decade, Cochise worked with the new settlers and even helped the new settlers by teaching them how to live on the dry, arid land.In 1856 Cochise became the principal war leader of the Chokonen band after the death of its chief, Miguel Narbona and the peace between the Apacheand the United States continued.When the Apache Pass Stage Station was built in 1858, he even worked for a time as a woodcutter for the Butterfield Overland line, and also helped protect the stagecoaches from attack.However, the tenuous peace would not last as more and more white settlers began to encroach upon Apache lands, and formally ended in 1861, when an Apache raiding party drove away a local rancher’s cattle and kidnapped his eleven-year-old step-son. The rancher, John Ward, believed Cochise was responsible for the raid and demanded that the military confront the Apacheleader to recover the boy and livestock.Before long, on February 3, 1861, 2nd Lieutenant George Bascom, a young graduate of West Point, brought a detachment of 54 men to Apache Pass to confront Cochise regarding the kidnapping of the boy and livestock. When Bascom asked for return of the captive and the stolen cattle, Cochise said Coyotero Apacheshad committed the crime and volunteered to negotiate for the return of the boy. Evidently unbelieving, Bascom then had Cochise, his brother, two nephews, a woman, and two children arrested until the boy and the livestock were returned.However, Cochise was able to escape and to ensure the safety of those he had left behind, captured three Americans before sending Bascom this message: “Treat my people well, and I will do the same for yours, of whom I have three.”  The inexperienced Bascom, decided instead to flex his muscle, hanged the Apache hostages, and began to make preparations for war against Cochise. In retaliation for their deaths, Cochise killed the three Americans he had taken hostage and joined forces with Mangas Coloradas, his father-in-law, and the leader of another Chiricahuaband. The two leaders, along with their warriors then set on a series of retaliatory skirmishes and raids of the white settlements.On July 15 and 16, 1862, General James H. Carleton, leading a Federal army eastward to head off the Confederate invasion of New Mexico, encountered Cochise and Mangas Coloradasat Apache Pass fighting for control the nearby Apache Springs.The two leaders, along with 500 warriors held their ground against the force of California volunteers until the U.S. Army employed a howitzer against the Indian forces. Though it was the first time that they had faced artillery fire, they continued to fight stubbornly for several hours before fleeing.General James Carlton subsequently took over as commander of the territory. In January, 1863, General Joseph Rodman West, under orders from General Carleton, was able to capture Mangas Coloradas by meeting with him under a flag of truce. Though allegedly a peaceful conference, the U.S. Army took Mangas Coloradasprisoner and later executed him. This, of course, very much angered Cochise, who retaliated in all out war against the white settlers, which continued for the next nine years. At the same time, Geronimo was also fighting against white encroachment and the two leaders often paired in their retaliation. 




Apache at the ford.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!


The U.S. Army captured Cochise in 1871 and prepared to transfer the Chiricahua to a reservation hundreds of miles away in New Mexico, but he escaped and renewed the resistance campaign.Finally, in 1872, President Ulysses S. Grantsent General Oliver O. Howard, a peace emissary, to meet with army scout and Indian Agent, Thomas Jeffords and Cochise. Cochise agreed to peace as long as his band was allowed to stay on the current reservation with Jeffords as their agent. General Howard agreed. Cochise made Thomas Jeffords his blood brother and a full member of the tribe. Afterwards, he quietly retired on the reservation, where he stayed until his death two years later on June 8, 1874.Before he died, Cochise had requested that he be buried in an unmarked grave so that the white man would not find his body. One account says that he was buried along with his favorite horse and dog in a deep rock crevice in Stronghold Canyon. Another version tells that he was buried several miles east of the Stronghold, and that his warriors then galloped their horses over the grave so it could not be identified. In any event, the location of his burial remains a mystery today.Chief Cochise was succeeded as chief by his son, Naichealso known as Natchez.   
  In the meantime, some of Cochise’s younger warriors did not agree with the peace that he had made with the U.S. Government and broke away to join Geronimo’s continued fighting efforts against the U.S. Army and white encroachment. The fighting continued until Geronimo’ssurrender in 1886.Afterwards, the remnants of the Chiricahua were shipped off to reservations in the east where most of them died. Today, there are only a few descendants of the Chiricahua Apache living in Oklahoma and New Mexico, and there are none at all on their original land.© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated April, 2012.   


 Geronimo the last apache

Geronimo was born of the Bedonkohe Apache tribe in No-doyohn Canon, Arizona, June, 1829, near present day Clifton, Arizona. The fourth in a family of four boys and four girls, he was called Goyathlay (One Who Yawns.) In 1846, when he was seventeen, he was admitted to the Council of the Warriors, which allowed him to marry. Soon, he received permission; married a woman named Alope, and the couple had three children.In the mid 1850s, the tribe, who was at peace with the Mexican towns and neighboring Indiantribes, traveled into Old Mexico where they could trade. Camping outside a Mexican town they called Kas-ki-yeh, they stayed for several days. Leaving a few warriors to guard the camp, the rest of the men went into town to trade. When they were returning from town, they were met by several women and children who told them that Mexican troops had attacked their camp.They returned to camp to find their guard warriors killed, and their horses, supplies and arms, gone. Even worse, many of the women and children had been killed as well. Of those that lay dead were Goyathlay’s wife, mother, and three children and as a result, he hated all Mexicans for the rest of his life. 



Geronimo in 1887, photo by Ben Wittck.

This image available for photographic prints and  downloads HERE!

It was the slaughter of his family that turned him from a peaceful Indian into a bold warrior. Soon, he joined a fierce band of Apache known as Chiricahua and with them, took part in numerous raids in northern Mexico and across the border into U.S. territory which are now known as the states of New Mexico and Arizona. It was those Mexican adversaries that gave him the nickname of “Geronimo“, the Spanish version of the name “Jerome”.

In ever increasing numbers, Geronimo fought against both Mexicans and  white settlers as they began to colonize much of the Apache homelands. However, by the early 1870s, Lieutenant Colonel George F. Crook, commander of the Department of Arizona, had succeeded in establishing relative peace in the territory. The management of his successors, however, was disastrous.

In 1876 the U.S. government attempted to move the Chiricahua from their traditional home to the San Carlos Reservation, a barren wasteland in east-central Arizona, described as “Hell’s Forty Acres.” Deprived of traditional tribal rights, short on rations and homesick, they revolted.

Spurred by Geronimo, hundreds of Apaches left the reservation and fled to Mexico, soon resuming their war against the whites. Geronimo and his followers began ten years of intermittent raids against white settlements, alternating with periods of peaceful farming on the San Carlos reservation.

In 1882, General George Crook was recalled to Arizona to conduct a campaign against the Apache. Geronimo surrendered in January 1884, but, spurred by rumors of impending trials and hangings, took flight from the San Carlos Reservation on May 17, 1885, accompanied by 35 warriors, and 109 other men, women and children.

During this final campaign, at least 5,000 white soldiers and 500 Indian auxiliaries were employed at various times in the capture of Geronimo’s small band. Five months and 1,645 miles later, Geronimo was tracked to his camp in Mexico’s Sonora Mountains.

Exhausted, and hopelessly out numbered, Geronimo surrendered on March 27, 1886 at Cañon de Los Embudos in Sonora, Mexico. His band consisted of a handful of warriors, women, and children. Also found was a young white boy named Jimmy “Santiago” McKinn, that the Indians had kidnapped some six months earlier in September. The “rescued” boy had become so assimilated to the Apache lifestyle, he cried when he was forced to return to his parents.






Jimmy “Santiago” McKinn in Geronimo’s Camp, with group

 of Chiricahua Apache boys, 1886, photo by C.S. Fly

 This image available for photographic prints and

downloads HERE!

Also traveling with General Crook was the photographer, C.S. Fly of Tombstone fame. After the bands capture, he was able to take some of the most famous photographs in U.S. history.The soldiers gathered the group and began the trek to Fort Bowie, Arizona. However, near the border, Geronimo, fearing that they would be murdered once they crossed into U.S. territory, bolted with Chief Naiche, 11 warriors, and a few women and boys, who were able to escape back into the Sierra Madra. As a result, Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles replaced Crookas commander on April 2, 1886.At a conference on September 3, 1886, at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona, General Miles induced Geronimo to surrender once again, promising him that, after an indefinite exile in Florida, he and his followers would be permitted to return to Arizona
The promise was never kept. Geronimoand his fellow prisoners were shipped by box-car to Florida for imprisonment and put to hard labor.It was May 1887 before he saw his family. Several years later, in 1894, he was moved to Fort Sill in OklahomaTerritory where he attempted to “fit in.” He farmed and joined the Dutch Reformed Church, which expelled him because of his inability to resist gambling.As years passed, stories of Geronimo’s warrior ferocity made him into a legend that fascinated non-Indians and Indians alike. As a result, he appeared at numerous fairs, selling souvenirs and photographs of himself. In 1905 he was quite the sensation when he appeared in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade. Geronimo dictated his memoirs, published in 1906 as Geronimo’s Story of His Life. 


Band of Apache Indian prisoners at rest stop beside Southern Pacific Railway, near Nueces River, Texas, September 10, 1886. Among those on their way to exile in Florida are Natchez (center front) and, to the right, Geronimo and his son. Photo courtesy National Archives.


Never having seen his homeland of Arizona again, Geronimo died of pneumonia on February 17, 1909 and was buried in the Apache cemetery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma


Manhunting History — January 10, 1886: Battle on the Devil’s Backbone

The unsuccessful summer campaign and subsequent raid by Josannie led to increasing political pressure on General Crook to produce results. The Commander of the United States Army, Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan, traveled all the way from Washington, D.C. to Fort Bowie to review the situation. He wanted Geronimo’s band destroyed, and on November 29 told Crook to go on the offensive.

Crook’s response was to take his previous innovations, already considered radical by many in the U.S. Army, to their logical conclusion. Although regular troops were supposed to provide rallying points for the scouts and protection for the pack trains, they also severely inhibited the scouts’ mobility. Crook was willing to forego the advantages offered by white soldiers and created a force comprised of 100 Indian scouts, a pack train, and only three officers. The model for this flying column had been suggested to him back in 1883 in the Sierra Madres campaign, when his scouts had begged to be allowed to go ahead of the main expedition.

The critical decision, therefore, was which American officer would lead this experimental unit. But in reality, the choice was obvious from the start. Captain Emmet Crawford had commanded the scouts in Crook’s 1883 expedition into Mexico, and upon the successful completion of that campaign was placed in charge of the San Carlos reservation where he oversaw the renegades now on the warpath until just two months prior to the outbreak. Six-foot-one, with gray eyes, a fellow officer described Crawford, saying: “Mentally, morally, and physically he would have been an ideal knight of King Arthur’s Court.” The Apaches alternately called him “Tall Chief” because of his height, and “Captain Coffee” because of his apparent addiction to the beverage. When reenlisting scouts in October and November for the expedition, Crawford chose only White Mountain and friendly Chiricahua Apaches – mountain Indians whom he knew were ideally suited for the arduous task of trailing Geronimo in the difficult Sierra Madres. These Indians joined the expedition not only because they hated the renegades, but also because they trusted Crawford, who was known for his concern for the scouts serving under him.


CPT Emmet Crawford, leader of General Crook’s elite Apache scouts

On November 29, Crook ordered Crawford’s company to the Dragoon Mountains to intercept Josannie’s band should they cross into Arizona from New Mexico, and then into Mexico, crossing the border once more on December 11. They moved steadily south in Sonora for three weeks, finding nothing.

Crawford set up a base camp in Nacori, on the western edge of the Sierra Madres, and from there deployed his scouting parties. Finally, in early January, one of these parties came across a Chiricahua trail near the Aros River. The scouts reported that it led to Geronimo’s band, holed up in a range known to the Mexicans as “Espina del Diablo,” or “Backbone of the Devil.” Upon the discovery of this fresh “sign” on January 8, 1886, Crawford pushed his men 48 hours without sleep in a desperate attempt to find and attack the hostile village. His party was now more than 150 miles south of the border, farther south in Mexico than any U.S. command had ever chased Apaches.

Just before daylight on the 10th, Crawford’s scouts drew near the high, rocky point where Geronimo’s camp was suspected to be. Crawford divided his force, hoping to surround the Rancheria. Slowly, carefully, the scouts crept forward, “scarcely breathing as we moved.”

Suddenly, the braying of the hostiles’ burros shook the stillness of the cold, mountain dawn, and alerted Geronimo to the scouts’ presence. Geronimo jumped up on a rock and yelled: “Look out for the horses!”

Chiricahua warriors ran out and tried to secure their mounts, but the scouts opened fire, shrieking cries of defiance from the surrounding rocks. Geronimo’s men took cover and returned fire from a nearby cluster of rocks that formed a stronghold.

After a minute, Geronimo’s voice was heard once again: “Let the horses go and break toward the river on foot! Scatter and go as you can!”

Although a rush into the camp would have ensured the capture of at least the women and children, the scouts remained pinned down by the hostiles’ fusillade, deaf to the appeals of their officers to advance. The hostiles escaped into the darkness, and daylight revealed they had once again left behind all their stock, provisions, and blankets. The scouts, exhausted by the forced march that made the skirmish possible, collapsed on any level ground they could find to sleep upon, unable to exploit their victory.

While the scouts’ bullets did not find their marks, the capture of Geronimo’s supplies was a terrible blow in the harsh winter conditions of the Sierra Madres. Toward the middle of the afternoon, as Crawford and his men were still recuperating, a squaw came into the camp. She said that Geronimo and his followers were camped a few miles away and wished to talk to Crawford about surrendering. Crawford agreed to meet with Geronimo, Chihuahua, and Naiche the next day, and a place for the conference was arranged. Crawford was overjoyed as the squaw departed, as the message seemed tantamount to an offer of surrender, and everyone in the American camp seemed to collectively exhale, believing the Geronimo campaign was about to end.


The White Mountain Apache are one of several Western Apache tribes, each of which has a different language, history, and culture despite being related. They are related to members of the Yavapai Apache Nation, which also has ties to the Grand Canyon. Historically the White Mountain Apaches were nomadic farmers, growing corn, beans, squash, and other foods for part of the year while supplementing their crops with hunting and gathering of native animals and plants. They had the largest range of any Western Apache tribe and traveled widely throughout what is today east-central Arizona, trading and raiding.  As anthropologist Keith Basso pointed out in Wisdom Sits in Places, the land is essential to Western Apache language and culture. It connects the people to their history and ancestors, while serving as a moral compass.The first significant meeting between the tribe and Euro Americans occurred in 1848 following the Mexican-American war, when Mexico ceded land to the United States that included White Mountain Apache homelands.
Some examples of the intricate arts and crafts of the White Mountain Apache, including pottery, beadwork, textiles and basketry, are displayed in front of a traditional dwelling, or wickiup.Credit: NAU Cline Library, Tad Nichols Collection, NAU.PH.

Nalte and Gud-i-zz-ah were just two of the many White Mountain Apache who served as scouts for General Crook’s army.Credit: Western History/Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library.
The White Mountain Apache were more geographically isolated than other Western Apache tribes, though they were aware of the violence and devastation happening as Euro Americans came into contact with other Native Americans.In the late 1860s the U.S. Army came into their land with orders to capture or kill any Apaches that refused to be confined to a reservation.  The White Mountain Apache acted so peaceably and hospitably that the soldiers followed suit. The White Mountain Apache allowed construction of Camp Ord, later known as Fort Apache, on their lands in 1868 and agreed to live on a reservation there.In 1871 General George Crook enlisted the help of 50 White Mountain Apache to serve as scouts for his army during the course of the fifteen-year Apache Wars, which ended with the surrender of Geronimo in 1886. The Fort Apache Indian Reservation, now known as the White Mountain Apache Reservation, was established in late 1891. Many White Mountain Apaches believe that it was because of their service to Crook that their tribe was able to maintain such a large part of their homeland within their reservation.In 1936, the White Mountain Apaches wrote their own constitution and established a tribal council to oversee governance and all tribally owned property and businesses. In the 1950s, White Mountain Apaches turned to tourism to support their tribal economy, constructing artificial lakes and dams and developing hunting, camping, fishing, and skiing facilities.
Today most of the approximately 15,000 members of the White Mountain Apache tribe live on their reservation of 1.67 million acres in east-central Arizona, about 200 miles southeast of the Grand Canyon. Their reservation contains rich wildlife habitat with more than 400 miles of streams. The White Mountain Apache have developed several tribal enterprises based on outdoor recreation to economically support tribal members, including a popular ski resort. They also operate the Hon-Dah resort-casino.For more information on the White Mountain Apache,
The seal of the White Mountain Apache nation contains a number of images meaningful to the tribe, symbolizing peace, natural resources, ancient crafts, sacred colors and prayers, endurance, and the beauty of life.Credit: White Mountain Apache tribal council.


Call Number : ina159pb
Title : Apache Chief Natches, 1886
Call Number : ina163p
Title : Apache Chief Ka-T-Te-Nay; C.1880

Call Number : ina158pb
Title : Apache Chief Geronimo, Son, & Warriors; 1886
Call Number : ina160pa
Title : Apache Chief Natches & Wife; ca. 1883
Call Number : ina164pb
Title : Go-Shono, Mescalero Apache Medicine Man, charcoal drawing c.1890s

Call Number : ina158pc
Title : Apache Chief Geronimo and Apache Warriers, c. 1886
Call Number : ina161pa
Title : Apache Chief Sanches; C.1880
Call Number : ina165p
Title : Apache Scout Al-Che-Say; C.1880

Call Number : ina166p
Title : Apache Medicine Man Chief Jump Off; N.D.
Call Number : ina169pb
Title : Apache Encampment; C.1900
Call Number : ina171pa
Title : Apache Scouts.

Call Number : ina167p
Title : Apache Man, Fort McDowell.
Call Number : ina169pc
Title : Apache Encampment; C.1900
Call Number : ina171pc
Title : Apache & White Men, 1880

Call Number : ina168p
Title : Apache Encampment, C.1900
Call Number : ina169pd
Title : Apache Encampment; C.1900
Call Number : ina171pd
Title : Apache Scouts; C.1880

Call Number : ina169pa
Title : Apache Encampment; C.1900
Call Number : ina170p
Title : Apache & Negro in Guard House; San-Carlos, Arizona, C.1880
Call Number : ina173pb
Title : Apache Woman Weaving Basket; C.1900


Call Number : ina190p
Title : Apache Man & Baby; C.1910
Call Number : ina198p
Title : Indians Watering Horses at Spring; N.D.

Call Number : ina191p
Title : Indian Scouts, S.L., C.1910
Call Number : ina200p
Title : Two Apache Women from east fork of Clear Creek, Arizona, C.1900

Call Number : ina194p
Title : Apache on Horseback; Camp-Verde, Arizona, C.1910
Call Number : ina201p
Title : Tonto Apache Woman, “Annie” Carrying Bale of Hay at Wilbanks Ranch in Gisela, Arizona.

Call Number : ina197pa
Title : Indian man eating, S.L., C.1910


Native American Tribes Overview:

Their Culture and History
Photos Courtesy of Denver Museum Digital Archive & Library of Congress.
The Hopi Indian:
They live in Northeastern Arizona and New Mexico.
According to legend, the ancestors of the Hopi Indian migrated from
various locations and settled near the Grand Canyon. Legend also
portrays a peaceful people, willing to cooperate with others to
improve their life.  Classified as Pueblo Indians they most likely
descended from the Anasazi. The Hopi were the only Pueblo Indians
that spoke a dialect of the Uto-Aztecan language family called
Shoshone.  At right:  A Hopi Native American woman in 1900.

More on the Development of Hopi Indian Jewelry

The word “Hopi” means good, peaceful, or wise. They come from a
group of Southwestern people called Pueblo, but their language is
different.  They live in northeast Arizona, mostly on the mesa tops in villages called pueblos.  Their  
homes are usually many stories high, as shown in the photo below.

Hopi men wore a straight sleeved or sleeveless shirt of undyed,
native cotton, worn like a poncho; knitted cotton leggings reaching
half way up the thighs; cotton loin cloth; and moccasins of deerskin.
Women wore an undyed cotton robe, which passed under the left
arm and was fastened above the right shoulder and an embroidered belt.

Interesting Information on Hopi Indian Rituals and Customs

The Hopi Indian’s religious ceremonies are held underground in rooms called “kiva’s.”
They famous for their Kachina dolls, which tourists buy for their children. However, Hopi children
cannot play with Kachinas. They are used to teach Hopi Indian children about spirit powers.

Native American Artifact Reproductions
American Indian Hand Made Wall Decor
Bow And Arrows, Cross Arrows, Medicine Wheels

Inside Tribal Impressions!

HA 162 Cross Arrow Medicine Wheel
Crossed Arrow Size : width – Dia:22,arrow57 cm Material : Iron,wood,leather,feather $58.00
HA 089 Medicine Wheel
Medicine wheel with cross arrow
Size : width – dia-28 cm Material : Iron – Wood – Feather – Leather $68.00
HA 163 Fancy Cross Arrow
Crossed Arrow Size : width – Dia:22,arrow:57 cm Material : Iron,wood,leather,feather,bone. $78.00

Hand Wrapped And Embellished Spears
Our hand made spears are hand wrapped with leather, embellished with fur, breading and feathers and have strong hand carved
bone points. These sharp looking hand made items look great on walls.

Hand Wrapped And Embellished Spears $78.00

Gallery Showcase Masterpiece ItemBuckskin Plains Indian BOW & QUIVER!!  

QA 003 Quiver Bow And Arrow Artifact
This is a really nice Quiver, Bow And Arrow Artifact Reproduction. Hand made out of leather and beads with bottom fringe.
Will look great on any wall hundreds of dollars less than what most so-called artifact reproduction dealers sell them for! Only $78.00

Native American Collector’s PhotoNavajo Indian Strings Bow Print, 1913 8 X 10This photo os one of the most popular early photos of a Navajo Indian.
it was taken in 1914 by Ronald Reed and is a great addition to your Native American Collection. Black And White on quality photo paper.Navajo Indian Strings Bow Print, 1913 8 X 10: $12.99 

Really Nice Bow And Cross Arrow Set With Dream catcher

HA 092 Mandella
Size : width – dia-33 cm
Material : Feather – Leather –
QA 003 Quivers
Size : 88 x 52 cm
QA 004 Quiver
QA 002: Quiver $48.00
AA 007 Arrow Wall Hanging
Wrapped leather bow and crossed arrow
Size : width – Bow:143,arrow84 cm Material : Bamboo, wood, leather, beads, bones, feather. $129.00
AA 006 Arrow Set Wall Hanging
Beaded Bow Size : width – 143 cm
Material : Bamboo, Leather, Beads.
AA 005 Arrow Set Wall Hanging
Arrow and bow Size : 150 x 62 cm
Material : Bamboo, leather, feather, beads

PA 012: Handmade Peace Pipe With Hand Painting And Medicine Bag

This hand made piece pipe is a great work of art that will look exceptional on your wall. It’s 27.6 inches long
and features hand beading, a hand painted Indian Chief on leather, leather fringe with breading, a hanging medicine bag and
all the other advanced works. Materials used to hand make this pipe include wood, horse Hair, Feathers, Bone And Beads.
Really sharp looking. Exceptional value! Only $78.00

PA 015 Antler Piece Pipe
Size : width – 59 cm
Material : Wood, Leather,Antler, Horse Hair,Rabbit Fur, Bones, Beads $65.00
PA 009 Horn Piece pipe
Size : width – 50 cm, Horn, Wood, Leather, bones, feather
PA 025 Antler Piece Pipe
Size : 77 x 35 cm Material : Antler Wood, leather, beads. $65.00
WA 022 Spear bone
Size : height – 99 cm
Material : Bone – Leather – Hairy leather – Bead. $45.00
DC 011 Dream Catcher With Arrows
Size : width – 16 cm
Material : Suede,turkey feather,beads,bones. $29.95
WA 011 Tomahawk Stone Wrap
Stone,wood,leather,feather,rabbit fur,bones.
$ 45.00


Akwesasne Mohawk Cultural Center– Hogansburg, New York.

Akwesasne Notes Magazine

– Kahniakehaka Nation ,Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, Rooseveltown, New York. (518-358-3326)

Indian Castle Church

– State Route 55, Town of Danube, Herkimer County (Fort Hendrick),

taken by photographer Nelson E. Baldwin on May 5, 1936.

 “Indian Castle Church was built in 1769 by Captain Samuel Clyde for Sir William Johnson, who presented it to the Canajoharies (Mohawks of the Upper or Canajoharie Mohawks Castle), in 1770.

It is the only Colonial Indian Mission Chursch standing in New York State and the only surviving Colonial building of the Mohawks or Iroquois Castles. The Church was built on land owned by Joseh Brandt [Brant], the famous Mohawk Chieftain, who was noted for his pity [piety?] and who translated the gospel of St. Mark into the Mohawk language.

During the Revolution, the Mohawk Indian raiders, formerly residents here, attempted to steal the bell of this old church.

They, however, neglected to fasten its clapper and its ringing awakened the parish settlers who armed themselves, sallied out and recovered the old church bell.” (Data Page 2).

American Indian Studies Research Institute– Indiana University, Bloomington.

American Indian Law Review

– University of Oklahoma College of Law. (Index only.)

American Indian Research Project

 – South Dakota Oral History Center. “Contains over 1,900 taped interviews, 70 percent of which were gathered in the field between 1967 and 1973.” Except for one sample, the interviews are not online, but there is a partial indexand you can order transcripts.American Indian Studies: A Bibliographic Guide (1995) – By Phillip M. White. Parts of this book are available in Google Books.

American Indian Tribal Directory – Provided by the American Indian Heritage Foundation.

American Indian Tribal Portal

– U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Indian Environmental Office.

EPA RegionsAmerican Indians: A Select Catalog of NARA Microfilm Publications

– National Archives microfilm publications “that relate directly to American Indians, to the formation of federal Indian policy, and to the personnel who created or enforced that policy.

The catalog is divided into civilian agency records and military establishment records. In each section, the publications containing the most information about Indians are listed first” followed by a roll-by-roll listing of the contents. Includes information on how to order the microfilm.”

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest

 – “This digital collection integrates over 2,300 photographs and 7,700 pages of text relating to the American Indians in two cultural areas of the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Coast and Plateau. These resources illustrate many aspects of life and work, including housing, clothing, crafts, transportation, education, and employment.

Volume VII of the United States Statutes at Large, entitled

Treaties between the United States and Indian Tribes

. Published in 1845, this is a 604 page volume of treaties which has a chronological list of the treatiesstarting on p. iii.

Chaco Digital Initiative

– Digitization of thousands of photographs from Neil Judd and Frank H.H. Roberts’ archaeological excavations in Chaco Canyon.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

– National Park Service

Cherokee Field Office Records, 1968 – 1983

– Photographs in the National Archives and Records Administration

, Record Group 435:

Records of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, 1929 – 1988.

Burden Basket or Storage Basket Made of River Cane (ARC Identifier: 281597)

Booger” Dance Mask with a Coiled Snake on Top (ARC Identifier: 281600)

Hand Carved Pottery Designed Paddles (ARC Identifier: 281617)

Seminole Coiled Sweet Grass Button Basket (ARC Identifier: 281626)

Shell Tempered Duck Effigy Bowl Recovered from Williams Island Site, Hamilton County, Tennessee (ARC Identifier: 281637)

Cherokee Craftsman, Jessie Saunlooke, Carving a Bear (ARC Identifier: 281633)

Shell Tempered Double Wedding Vessel with a Human Effigy Recovered from the Cox Mound, Jackson County, Tennessee (ARC Identifier: 281639)Old Cherokee White Oak Basket (ARC Identifier: 281622)

Single Weave River Cane Basket Owned by the Southern Hills Handicraft Guild (ARC Identifier: 281629)

Cherokee Nation

 – Official Site of the Cherokee Nation based in Tahlequah Oklahoma. 

They publish

 the Cherokee Phoenix and Indian Advocate

, the the official newspaper of the Cherokee Nation, published monthly.

Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles

 – From the Search Page you can view the full-text of a number of periodicals including Outingfrom 1883 to 1899.

 Forgotten Founders: Benjamin Franklin, the Iroquois and the Rationale for the American Revolution (1982)

Lacrosse in the United States

 A sampling of articles from Outing and more recent sources:

Lacrosseby Ross Mackenzie, Outing, October, 1892, Vol. XXI, No. 1, p. 76-80.

Lacrosse in the United Statesby J. A. Hodge, Outing, March, 1886, Vol. VII, No. 6, p. 665-676.

Père Lacombe, A Wilderness Apostle of the Northby Agnes C. Laut, Outing, April, 1905, Vol. XLVI, No. 1, p. 1-15.

The Indian Festival at Taosby James A. LeRoy, Outing, December, 1903, Vol. XLIII, No. 3, p. 282-288.

The materials are drawn from the extensive collections of the University of Washington Libraries, the Cheney Cowles Museum/Eastern Washington State Historical Society in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.” Also accessible via the Library of Congress.

American Museum of Natural History – New York.

The Library provides access to Online Catalog. The Collections Database provides access to over 50,000 images and catalog descriptions from the North American Ethnographic Collection.

 You can search by culture, material, object name, catalog no., locale or donor name. A search for Catalog item E/ 2334 will retrieve the images of two Tlingit baskets.

A search for ornament (object name) will retrieve over 800 images and a search for Plains (culture) and bead (material) will retrieve over 700 including a buffalo robe (50 / 5860). An object name search for kachinaretrieves 239 items. There are some lovely Navaho blankets (50.2/ 6840, 50.2/ 6841, 50.2/ 6842, 50 / 2091) and bracelets (50.2/ 4168, 50.2/ 4169, 50.2/ 4171, 50 / 6356 A, 50.2/ 2394).

Searching by donor is particularly rewarding:

 try Auchincloss, Morgan, Wissler, Spinden, Boas, Harvey, Mead, Jesup, Peabody (baskets), or Emmons.

Search for object name:

 amulet, apron, armlet, bag, ball, basket, beadwork, belt, bowl, brooch, canoe, carving, charm, club, coat, comb, cradle board (baby board), cup, dance, dice, doll, feather, fetish, fish, gambling, game, hat, headband, headdress, jacket, jar, knife, labret, lance, leggings, mask, medicine bundle, mittens, model, moccasin, necklace, paddle, parfleche, pipe, pottery, pouch, prayer stick, purse, rattle, robe, saddle, sheath, snowshoes (snow shoe), spear, spoon, tomahawk, totem pole, toy, tray, wampum.

American Native Press Archives

The mission of the

Sequoyah National Research Center

is “to acquire and preserve the writings and ideas of Native North Americans.”

American Philosophical Society

– Founded by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1743.

The Library houses over 180,000 volumes and bound periodicals, six million manuscripts, and thousands of maps and prints.

You can search MOLE, the Manuscripts Online Guide and VOLE, the Vaughan Online Catalog, and there are Finding Aids and Subject Guides. Collections of note include:William N. Fenton Papers– “Yale-educated ethnographer, William Fenton has devoted most of his career to study of the Iroquois Indians of New York State and Canada.”

Franz Boas Papers – Founder of modern American anthropology.

See also Images of Franz Boas.

Ely Samuel Parker Papers – Seneca Indian and Civil War adjutant to Ulysses Grant.

Other resources include:

Native American Sound Recordings – Recording #3 features an August 12, 1950 recording of Lucenda George speaking in the Onondaga language about locusts, Clifford’s garden, winter and the dam built on the Onondaga reservation.

David Van Keuren’s

“The Proper Study of Mankind”: An Annotated Bibliography of Manuscript sources on Anthropology and Archeology in the Library of the American Philosophical Society (c1986)

American Indian Manuscripts in the American Philosophical Society (c1999)

– By John Freeman, Murphy D. Smith, Daythal Kendall, and R.S. Cox.Anercan Philosophical Society Proceedings – with recent issues available online

. The March 2000 issue contains the full-text of Christian B. Keller’s Philanthropy Betrayed: Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Origins of Federal Indian Removal Policy in pdf format. Other articles of interest include

Retrospecting the Origins of the League of the Iroquois by William A. Starna, APS Proceedings, Vol. 152, 3 (September 2008);

Illegal Alien? The Immigration Case of Mohawk Ironworker Paul K. DiaboBy Gerald F. Reid, APS Proceedings, Vol. 151, 1 (March 2007).

Native American Images

 – See also Abbot-Charnay Photograph Collection

The American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789

– Library of Congress

An American Time Capsule:

Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

 – More than 7,000 digitized primary source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompassing key events and eras in American history.

A search for Indianretrieves over 50 results, among which is

 an 1805 speech by Sagu-ua-what-hath (Red Jacket),

a Seneca chiefAmon Olorin Flutes

 – Contemporary Native American Flutes by Ken Light, and flute workshops with R. Carlos Nakai,

Native American flutist nominated for 2 Grammys.

(You can also listen to clips from Earth Spirit, Changes:

Native American Flute Music, Big Medicine or Feather, Stone & Light at

Anasazi Heritage Center

– Dolores, Colorado

Ancient Cultures of the Southwest

– Online exhibition of pottery at

the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Wisconsin.

 There is a pottery catalog index.Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS): Partnerships Across NationsAnnual Review of Anthropology

 – Article abstracts (full-text available to subscribers only) from 1984 to the present. A search for American Indian(words in title or abstract), for example, retrieves 14 results.

Anthropological Index of the Royal Anthropological Institute

– “Anthropological Index Online is based on the journal holdings of The Anthropology Library at the The British Museum (Museum of Mankind) which receives periodicals in all branches of anthropology, from academic institutions and publishers around the world.”

Anthropology Outreach Office

– Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology.

Provides archives of

AnthroNotes and Anthropolog

. See

Native Americans: General Topics.


– Interactive repository of research and communications tools for anthropologists.

Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association (ATADA)Theft AlertAntiquities of Wisconsin

– Electronic text of the book by

Increase A. Lapham

, published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1855, includes 92 pages of text, illustrated with 61 wood engravings, and 55 lithographed plates.

Archeological Research Institute

– Arizona State University, Tempe.

Host of Archnet

. There is an online exhibition of

Prehistoric Pottery of Arizona

. Other resources include

Pottery and Pigments in Arizona:

Salado Polychrome and Roosevelt Platform Mound Study.

Archives Canada France

 – A search in the database for Iroqouisretrieves over 900 documents.

Archives nationales de France

– A search for Iroquois in the Collections retrieves 26 results.

See also

Centre des archives d’outre-mer à Aix-en-Provence (CAOM)

whose mission is the “conservation des archives de l’expansion coloniale française.”

Archives of the Association on American Indian Affairs– Princeton University Library.

Archives of Maryland Online

 – “The first 72 volumes of this series were published between 1883 and 1972 by the Maryland Historical Society.

They contain many of the official records of Maryland from 1634 to 1820. We have also added 30 additional volumes to this series in the past year.

The website contains images of the originals as well as fully searchable text.” Consider spelling variants as you search (Sasquehannah).

The archives contains some interesting early records. Volume 6 of the series is a transcription of the Correspondence of Governor Horatio Sharpe, Volume 1,1753-1757

which includes some material about Indian Affairs. Starting on page 436 of this volume is a lengthy account from Fort George in New York on 4th June 1756, in which the author writes about Sir William Johnson, the Mohawks, and the Onondago.

Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1732:1753

, concerns the 1844 treaty council held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Members of the Six Nations, including Onondaga chief Canasatego (Cannasatego), met with representatives from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Conrad Weiser (Conrade) was present as interpreter.

ArchNet: Ethnoarchaeology and EthnohistoryArctic Circle

– Peoples and environment of the Arctic and Subarctic region

Arctic Studies Center – Smithsonian Institution.

Has a number of online exhibitions including

Yupik Masks,

Ekven Burial Chamber

and Northern Clans, Northern Traces.

Arizona Memory Project

– “Established by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, is an online repository for digital collections from archives, libraries, museums, historical societies and other Arizona cultural institutions.”

Collections of interest include:

Medallion Papers

a “series of 39 publications issued between 1928-1950 by the Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation. Gila Pueblo, as it later became known, was one of the earliest Arizona institutions doing archaeological surveying and research in the Southwest.

It was founded by Winifred and Harold S. Gladwin as a private foundation and employed professional archaeologists whose research was published in the Medallion Papers.

Their work was instrumental in defining the Hohokam, Mogollon, San Simon and Cochise cultures and in describing early pottery types including Hohokam red-on-buff, Salado polychrome, Casas Grandes and others.”

Sharlot Hall Museum American Indians Image Collection

– “This collection of still images is related to the American Indians of Arizona and the Southwest (1865-1970).

Tribes include Navajo, Apache, Yavapai, Hualapai, Papago, Hopi, Mohave, Paiute, Yaqui, Havasupai, Pima and Maricopa.

Also included in the collection are images of prehistoric ruins, pueblos, and rock art.”

Portraits of Indians from Southeastern Idaho Reservations, 1897.”

192 portraits of American Indians  by  Pinart  1860-1876

Arizona State Museum

– University of Arizona, Tucson.

Established in 1893, this is the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest with the largest whole vessel collection of Southwest Indian pottery in the world.

They offer Travel Tours and information on the Southwest Indian Art Fair.

One of the Fair’s Award Winners for 2009 was Kachina Mana by Aaron Honanie, Hopi.

The Libraryhas an online catalogue.

Among the online resources are:

PodcastsArizona Archaeological Site and Survey DatabasePottery Project 2,000 Years – 20,000 VesselsNampeyo Pottery Showcase

 – Includes a Black-on-red shallow bowlcollected 1926.

With an Eye on Culture: The Photography of Helga TeiwesThe Trincheras Culture, Vignettes in Time

Arizona’s First People:

The culture and lives of Arizona’s Native American tribes

– Part of the Cultures AZ site.

In Voices, Nan Telahongva recounts her experiences as a young Hopi girl new to Anglo schools and Betty Reid, a Native Navajo and a reporter for the Arizona Republic, talks about the transition from reservation life to city life.

Arkansas Archeological Survey

– University of Arkansas site provides Report Abstracts by county, Archeology Links, Educational Resources for Teachers and First Encounters:

The Contact Period in the Mississippi Valley

.Arnold Research Cave – Missouri.

Contained 7500 years of prehistoric footwear.

Michael J. Fuller

– Provides photographs of footwear from the cave.


 – A rich resource for art and antiques. (See their Site Index.)

There is an Artist Index

. The weekly ArtNet Magazine

 offers news & reviews, and features with archives back to 1996.

 The Galleriesdatabase is searchable by gallery name, artist name, gallery specialty, location, and furniture or design.

As Long as the Waters Flow: Native Americans in the South and East

 – Photographs by Carolyn DeMeritt exhibited at the Light Factoryin Charlotte, North Carolina.

Assembly of First Nations– National representative/lobby organization of the First Nations in Canada.

Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures

 – Robert Nelson’s Guide to Native American Studies Programs in the United States and Canada provides a “comprehensive survey of U.S. and Canadian Native American Studies programs being offered as majors, minors, and certifications at the baccalaureate level or above.”

The Association’s newsletter, SAIL

, is searchableand is available in full-text from 1977-1987.

Association of American Indian PhysiciansAssociation of American University Presses

 – With a search form for

Native American Studies. (Try searching by year.)

Avalon Project at Yale Law School

 – Collection of documents in law, history and diplomacy has texts of

Treaties Between the United States and Native Americans,

Statutes of the United States Concerning Native Americans


Relations Between the United States and Native Americans.

Benedicte Wrensted: An Idaho Photographer in Focus

– “Portraits of Indians from Southeastern Idaho Reservations, 1897.”

192 portraits of American Indians  by  Pinart  1860-1876

Bethlehem Digital History Project

 – “Digitization and web publication of specific primary source materials relating to the early history of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania….selected to increase accessibility to sources that illuminate key elements of the Bethlehem community from its founding in 1741 through 1844.”

Among the resources are Joseph Spangenberg’s Report on the Nanticokes’ and Shawnee’s Bethlehem visit in March 1753


The Comprehensive Report on the Brethren’s Negotiations in Bethlehem and Gnadenhütten with the Nanticokes and Shawnee Nations from April 1752. (Moravian College and Theological Seminary)

Betty Mae Jumper: a Seminole Legend – Maintained by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Bibliographies of New England History

– Volume 9 contains 4,231 citations to books, dissertations, pamphlets, and magazine and journal articles, most of which were published between 1989 and 1994.

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de CervantesBibliothèque Nationale de France

 – Although much of the site is in French you can locate many full texts in English and there are a number of outstanding visual resources as well.


, a text and image digitization project comparable to the Library of Congress’s American Memory project, is a rich resource for material on American Indian history and anthropology.

For example the Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletins are available from 1881 to 1933.

To find them, do a click on recherche and search for the title (Mots du titre) bureau of american ethnology.

From your results, select Annual report of the Bureau of American ethnology: to the Secretary of the Smithsonian institution (Voir la liste des fascicules).

This will bring up a list of all the titles they own, from 1881 (N 01 / 1879-1880) to 1933 (N 048 / 1930-1931).

Among the images are

192 portraits of American Indians  by  Pinart  1860-1876

 [Indiens des Etats-Unis] taken by the photographer Pinart between 1860-1876.

The simplest way to search (recherche) this site is by keyword search (recherche libre).

Try specific tribe names

(Shawnee, Delaware, Huron) or use such terms as Indiens, indienne.

To limit your search to images check the box for Lots d’images (under Types de documents).

Bureau of American Ethnology List of Publications

has an index to titles and authors for Bulletins and Annual Reports.

A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibolaby Victor Mindeleff


Bringing Indian Affairs:

 Laws and Treaties to the World Wide Web

– Suzanne L. Holcombe, Oklahoma State University Library. Presentation at the Proceedings of the 9th Annual Federal Depository Library Conference, October 22 – 25, 2000.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center

 – Cody, Wyoming library and museum provides access to their online catalog.

Built in America:

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)

 – Library of Congress collection of measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 35,000 historic structures and sites dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

Search by keyword or browse by subject (Indians of North America) or place.

 Here you’ll find photographs of:

Indian Castle Church

– State Route 55, Town of Danube, Herkimer County (Fort Hendrick),

taken by photographer Nelson E. Baldwin on May 5, 1936.

 “Indian Castle Church was built in 1769 by Captain Samuel Clyde for Sir William Johnson, who presented it to the Canajoharies (Mohawks of the Upper or Canajoharie Mohawks Castle), in 1770.

It is the only Colonial Indian Mission Chursch standing in New York State and the only surviving Colonial building of the Mohawks or Iroquois Castles. The Church was built on land owned by Joseh Brandt [Brant], the famous Mohawk Chieftain, who was noted for his pity [piety?] and who translated the gospel of St. Mark into the Mohawk language.

During the Revolution, the Mohawk Indian raiders, formerly residents here, attempted to steal the bell of this old church.

They, however, neglected to fasten its clapper and its ringing awakened the parish settlers who armed themselves, sallied out and recovered the old church bell.” (Data Page 2).

View (Southwest) down into Kiva

– Pueblo Arroyo, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (June 1966)

Kalispel Indian Log Cabin

– Usk, Pend Oreille County, Washington (1936)

Rock Eagle Mound

– Rock Eagle State Park, Putnam County, Georgia by Kenneth Kay (1980)

Shoshone Indian Cemetery

– Wind River Indian Reservation, Fort Washakie, Fremont County, Wyoming. “This cemetery supposedly contains the grave of Sacajawea, Indian guide of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Located in cemetery is the oldest chapel built for the Indians in Wyoming.” (Data page 2). Photograph by Jack E. Boucher (1974).

Aztec Ruins – Detailed View of Through Passage

– Aztec Ruins, West Ruin, New Mexico 44 near junction of U.S. 550, Aztec vicinity, San Juan County, New Mexico.

Jeffers Petroglyphs

– Image of turtle and man, looking East. Photograph by Jet Lowe, 12 April, 1990. Delton Township, Cottonwood County, Minnesota.

BuntingVisual Resources Library

 – University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts. Resources include

Native American Arts Classification Manual and Visual Resources Catalog of Native American Artists (VIRCONA)

Bureau of American Ethnology –

Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin Series Electronic Editions

 – Consists of

Hair Pipes in Plains Indian Adornment: A Study in Indian and White Ingenuity by John C. Ewers.

 (See also the List of Publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology with with index to authors and titles.)

 Also available is

The Horse in the Blackfoot Indian Culture, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin, vol. 159.

This series is also available in

Gallica, bibliothèque numérique de la Bibliothèque nationale de France

. Do a search (recherche) for the title (Mots du titre) bureau of american ethnology.

From your results, select

Annual report of the Bureau of American ethnology: to the Secretary of the Smithsonian institution (Voir la liste des fascicules).

This will bring up a list of all the titles they own, from 1881 (N 01 / 1879-1880) to 1933 (N 048 / 1930-1931).

There are over 13,000 Glass Negatives of Indians, collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology from the 1850s-1930s in the National Anthropological Archives.

You can browse images in the

drawings, sketches and paintings from National Anthropological Archives

 or search the Archival, Manuscript and Photograph Collections Catalog in SIRIS, the research information system of the Smithsonian.

Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions

– Marquette University

Bureau of Indian Affairs

– U.S. Department of the InteriorBureau of Indian EducationIndian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB)Press ReleasesTribal Leaders   


 Subject Guides to the Internet – 

 Native AmericansFederally Recognized Tribes

C-SPAN Digital Library

 – You can use search, advanced searchor search by tag.

Oregon Indians

– “Stephen Beckham

talked about the book he edited Oregon Indians: Voices from Two Centuries.” 9/3/2009 [6:00]

Native America, Discovered and Conquered

Robert J. Miller, Professor, Lewis and Clark College Law School,

“I Am a Man”

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian– “Sherman Alexie

 talked about his young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, published by Little, Brown Young Readers.

 It is a semi-autobiographical chronicle of growing up on a Washington State Indian reservation and transfering from the reservation school to the rich, white school. 

In a frequently humorous presentation he talked about his life and the differences from the book.” 

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

 – Located near Collinsville, Illinois,  

the historic site holds the archaeological remnants of a sophisticated prehistoric civilization inhabited by the Mississippians from about A.D. 700 to 1400. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site: “Cahokia Mounds, some 13 km north-east of St Louis, Missouri, is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico. 

 It was occupied primarily during the Mississippian period (800–1400), when it covered nearly 1,600 ha and included some 120 mounds.  

It is a striking example of a complex chiefdom society, with many satellite mound centres and numerous outlying hamlets and villages. 

This agricultural society may have had a population of 10–20,000 at its peak between 1050 and 1150. 

 Primary features at the site include Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas, covering over 5 ha and standing 30 m high.” 

See also Cahokia and Surrounding Mound Groupsby D. I. Bushnell, Jr., Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol. III, No. 1, May, 1904, pp. 1-84.

CBC Archives– Canadian Broadcasting Corporation archived interviews include:

Rethinking RielРM̩tis leader Louis RielGeorges Erasmus:

 Native Rights Crusader

The Life and Legend of Bill Reid

 Haida artistPhil Fontaine: Native Diplomat and DealmakerEeyou Istchee: 

 Land of the Cree 

An Inuit Education: 

Honouring a Past, Creating a Future 

James Bay Project 


the CreeThe Oka Crisis 

The Battle for Aboriginal Treaty Rights 

Creation of Nunavut   

Mercury Rising: The Poisoning of Grassy NarrowsA Lost Heritage: Canada’s Residential SchoolsLacrosse: A History of Canada’s GameDavis Inlet: Innu community in crisisLosing native languagesMétamorphose de l’Indien

California Heritage Digital Image Access Project

 – Online archive of over 28,000 images illustrating California’s history and culture consisting of photographs, pictures, and manuscripts from the collections of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. You can Browse the Collection

(Select “container listing” to access the images.) For example, 

the Merriam Collection of Native American Photographs, ca. 1890-1938, 

contains 1,447 digitized photographs of members of Californian tribes.

 See also  

California Cultures: Native Americans. 

California Digital Library

Camping with the Sioux: Fieldwork diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher – National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. 

Includes Folktales and a Photo Gallery.Canada’s Digital Collections – Rich resource for information on Canada’s First Peoples.Canada’s Native Peoples – Volume II in the Canada Heirloom Series of Canada’s Digital Collection.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: News – Offers coverage of First Nations issues.  


Aboriginal Canadians: 

From the Gift of the Iroquois to the Creation of Nunavut, by Martin O’Malley, July 2000


After the Salmon Run:  

The Road to Nowhere by Peter McCluskey 

which offers video reports, archived stories and links. 

Canadian Encyclopedia Online– Full-text, multimedia encylopedia.  

The subject index shows

 38 pages of entries for Native People.

 (Provided by Historica, a foundation whose mandate is to provide Canadians with a deeper understanding of their history.)   

Canadian Museum of Civilization – Toronto. 

Site provides a variety of information on indigenous cultures, archaeology, folk art and Canadian history.   

Virtual Collection Storage provides images of items on the museum,    

 including some very handsome mittens and belts in the Ethnology Collection.   

Also provided is a collection of links to 

 Online Resources for Canadian Heritage  

which has Ethnology and Archaeologysections. 

Canadian Medical Association – 

The site is searchable and provides tables of contents and selected articles from a number of its publications.  

A search for Cree,

 for example,

 retrieves 46 results, most of them abstracts of articles from the Canadian Medical Association Journal. 

Carlisle Indian Industrial School

 Barbara Landis and Genevieve Bell.  

(See also Carlisle Studentsadapted from Charles Maclay’s index of “The Indian Industrial School” by Linda Witmer.)   

Carnegie Institution for Science– Washington, D.C.  

Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest – 

Published by the Art Institute of Chicago in association with Yale University Press for the exhibition at the Art Institue of Chicago from April 22 to August 13, 2006.  

This is a beautiful book with 141 color photographs of pre-Columbian pottery, primarily from private collections. It’s $28.35 at (the list price is $45.00).  

See UNESCO’s World Heritage List –

 Archeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes. 

Catholic Encyclopedia

 With over 11,602 articles, this encyclopedia is a good resource for researching 

the Jesuit presence in North America. 

For example there are articles on Catholic Indian Missions of the United States, Santa Fe (New Mexico),

 Huron, Sioux, Chippewa, Algonquins and Iroquois.   

Center for Agricultural Bioinformatics: Botanical Databases –   

The Medicinal Plants of North America Database (MPNADB)

is “based on a two-volume book of the same name published in 1986 by the Museum of Anthropology of the University of Michigan. 

The database – which contains 17,634 items representing the medicinal uses of 2,147 species from 760 genera and 142 families by 123 different native American groups – 

was built over a period of about 10 years with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.”

 The Food Plant Database,

 based on Food Plants of the North American Indians by Elias Yanovsky, c1936, reviewed approximately 80 years of literature, back to around 1850, listing 1,112 species in 444 genera of plants among 120 families, used for food by the North American Indians.

Center for Southwest Research

 – University of New Mexico.

 Part of the larger Online Archive of New Mexico.

Among their collections are

 the Robert E. Robideau American Indian Movement Papers, 1975-1994


the Kay Cole Papers.

Center For World Indigenous Studies

 – Their Fourth World Documentation Project

is “an online library of texts which record and preserve our peoples’ struggles to regain their rightful place in the international community.”

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation:

U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873

 – “Consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.

 Congressional bills and resolutions for selected sessions beginning with the 6th Congress (1799) in the House of Representatives and the 16th Congress (1819) in the Senate. 

A select number of documents and reports from the monumental U.S. Congressional Serial Set are available as well. 

This online collection houses the records of the U.S. Congress up to 1875, which includes 

the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, published by the Government Printing Office. 

To access the contemporary Congressional Record go to

 THOMAS, the Library of Congress’s legislative information Web site.”

It includes:

Journals of the Continental Congress (1774-89)Letters of Delegates to Congress (1774-89)Farrand’s Records:    

Records of the Federal Convention of 1787Elliot’s Debates: Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (1787-88)   

Journals of the House of Representatives (1789-1875) and the Senate (1789-1875), 

Maclay’s Journal: Journal of William Maclay, United States Senator from Pennsylvania, 1789-1791The Annals of Congress 

 – Formally known as The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, the Amma;   

s “cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress, from 1789 to 1824. 

The Annals were not published contemporaneously, but were compiled between 1834 and 1856, using the best records available, primarily newspaper accounts.  

Speeches are paraphrased rather than presented verbatim, but the record of debate is nonetheless fuller than that available from the House and Senate Journals. 

 The Annals were immediately succeeded by the Register of Debates, and subsequently by the Congressional Globe and Congressional Record.”Register of Debates (1824-37)

 – Consists of 14 volumesCongressional Globe (1833-73)Congressional Record (1873-75)House JournalSenate Journal

– “The Journal should be seen as the minutes of floor action. 

It notes the matters considered by the Senate and the votes and other actions taken. 

It does not record the actual debates, which can be consulted through the “Link to date-related documents” in the full text transcription of the Journal.”

Senate Executive Journal (1789-1875)

– “Record of its executive proceedings that relate to its functions of confirming presidential nominees and consenting to the making of treaties. 

The Senate Executive Journal was not made public until 1828, when the Senate decided to print and publish the proceedings for all the previous Congresses and thereafter to publish the journal for each session at its close.”

Bills and ResolutionsStatutes at Large (1789-1875)

– “The eighteen volumes presented in this online collection cover the laws of the first forty-three Congresses, 1789-1875.”

American State Papers (1789-1838)

– “Thirty-eight physical volumes, contain the legislative and executive documents of Congress during the period 1789 to 1838.”

U.S. Serial Set

 – “Began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). 

Documents before 1817 may be found in the

American State Papers (1789-1838)

.” Of particular interest is

Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784-1894

compiled by Charles C. Royce.

(U.S. Serial Set Number 4015

contains the second part of the two-part Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1896-97 by J.W. Powell, Director.) 

The report is browsable by 

Tribe, State/Territory and Date


includes treaties and 67 maps. 

You can search the entire site or browse individual titles. 

The 23rd Congress, 1833-1835

 has Correspondence on the emigration of Indians, 1831-33. 

Use the find option (Indian) to locate material on Indian issues in the 

Register of Debates Browse List

. Another important resource is 

The Fall 2000 issue has several articles on Diabetes.Code of Federal Regulations

 – National Archives and Records Administration. Title 25 deals with Indian issues.

Other related titles include Native American Housing (Title 24, Part 1000), Indian Health (Title 42, Part 36), and Requirements for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian Lands (Title 30, Part 75).

You can also browse and search your choice of CFR titles and/or volumes

; Title 25: Indians is available

from 1997.CodeTalk

– Federal interagency information network managed by native Americans at HUD’s Office of Native American Programs.

The end @ copyright 2012

After look this collections, you better to look the history of American Indian tribe below


the end @ copyright 2012




American Indian History Collections

Part four

The Unites States Indian part two

Apache  Indians


Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Limited private E-BOOK in CD-ROM Edition

Special for Premium member


The American Apache Indian


Apache Indian man

I walked with my Father

I walked with my Son

I walked with my Grandson

Now I walk in the shadows


kiowa apache





Dohosan ( Little Bluff)

( Tribe : Kiowa )

( Painting by GEORGE CATLIN )

c.1805-1866. Noted for his courage and defiance in the face of threats from the U.S. government, Dohosan is considered by many to be the greatest of a hereditary line of chiefs of the Kiowas. In 1833, he became principal chief of all Kiowas after the Osages decimated a band of Kiowas and took their Sun Dance gods. As a result, his predecessor, Dohate or “Bluff”, was deposed. Although he signed several treaties (notably the Fort Atkinson Treaty of July 27, 1852, and the Little Arkansas River Treaty of October 18, 1865), Dohosan had little regard for the white man and his agreements. He believed that Indians should fight to retain their lands and rights as free people. However, he identified with and respected the Mexicans, who thought and fought much as he died. When Kid Carson started with more than 300 soldiers a winter campaign against the restive nation of the Kiowas on November 24, 1864, Kid Carson attacked a camp of Kiowas at Adobe Walls at the Canadien River. Dohosan, who was only a visitor in this camp, succeded in repulse this attack with great bravery. When Dohosan died in 1866 at the hands of a Dakota man, his name was bestowed upon his son, also a distinguished warrior.

The Kiowa – Apache are also known as the Prairie Apache. The name Apache was applied to them many years ago, because they were thought to be the same as the Apache people of Arizona. They have not had a connection with the Arizona Apache, other than belonging to the same language group. They came from the north, as a part of the Kiowa. Recent authorities now think the Apache divided somewhere in Montana, one group migrating down the west side of the Rockies into the Southwest, and a smaller group staying with the Kiowa. Whichever theory is correct, The Kiowa – Apache have a distinct language, and call themselves Nadi-ish-dena. The Pawnee and early French explorers and settlers called them Ga ta’ka, which is the name they appear as in their first treaty with the United States.

The Kiowa – Apache were associated with the Kiowa before they left the Rocky Mountains. In 1682, La Salle referred to them as “Gattacka, saying they had horses, which they sold to the Pawnee. La Harpe in 1719, after being in the now Oklahoma area, mentioned the tribe as “Quataquios” living on the Arkansas River as neighbors of the Tawakoni. Lewis and Clark found them in 1805 in the Black Hills where the Kiowa were.

In 1837, the Kiowa – Apache signed their first treaty with the United States at Fort Gibson. Since then they have identified with the Kiowa, and for the most part, share a common history.

In 1865, at their request, the Kiowa-Apache were officialy attached to the Cheyenne as a result of the Treaty of the Little Arkansas, but in the Medicine Lodge Treaty, two years later, were reunited with the Kiowa.

Their principal chief, Pacer, was friendly with the white people and used his influence to promote peace among the tribes on the Kiowa – Comanche Reservation until his death in 1875. That year, A. J. Standing, a Quaker, schoolteacher, had established the first school among the Kiowa – Apache at their request.

The group had settled peaceably on the reservation and were highly commended by the authorities for their industry and their efforts to make their own living. In 1894, Apache John (Gonkon, “Stays in tipi”) a concientious leader, represented them in the delegation to Washington with A’piatan, in protesting the agreement of 1892. Most of the Kiowa -Apache were living in the vicinity of present day Apache, in Caddo County, OK, under the leadership of their chief, Tsayaditl-ti (“White Man”), just before allotments and the opening of the reservation lands in 1901.

The present location of the Kiowa – Apache is the vicinity of Fort Cobb and Apache in Caddo County. There are approximately 400 now. Official reports list their numbers as about 300, when Lewis and Clark found them, 378 in 1871, 344 in 1875, 349 in 1889, 208 in 1896, and only 194 in 1924.


The above information is contained in the book, “A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma” by Muriel H. Wright, published by University of Oklahoma Press, 1971.


Satanta (Set-Tainte)

1830-1878. Born on the Northern Plains, Satanta (“White Bear Person”) was the son of Red Tepee, who was the keeper of the Tai-me, the Kiowa medicine bundles. During his boyhood, he was known as Guaton-bain or “Big Ribs”. He was a young man when a prominent warrior, Black Horse, presented him with a war shiled that he used while raiding in Texas and Mexico. During the early days of the Civil War, he conducted many raids along the Santa Fe Trail. He would later become a principal chief in the Kiowa Wars of the 1860s-1870s and was known as “The Orator of the Plains.” When Little Mountain died in 1866, Satanta became the leader of the war faction of the Kiowas. His rival was KICKING BIRD of the peace faction. As a result of his rivalry, Lone Wolf became the compromise choice for the position of principal chief. Meanwhile, Satanta and his warriors continued raiding in Texas. Famed for his eloquence, Satanta spoke at the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 where the Kiowas ceded their lands in the valleys of the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers and agreed to settle on a reservation within Indian Territory. However, some of the Kiowas were slow to move onto their lands in Indian Territory. When Satanta came under a flag of truce to tell the U.S. Army that he had not been with Black Kettle at the Battle of the Washita, General Philip H. Sheridan held him and several other leaders as hostages until their bands had relocated to Indian Terretory. In May 1871, Satanta was in a war party that attacked the Warren wagon train with SATANK, BIG TREE and MAMANTI. Later, Big Tree, Satank, and Satanta were seized for trial after bragging openly about their exploits. Satank tried to escape on the road to Texas; he was fatally shot. Big Tree and Satanta went to trial and were sentenced to death. Indian rights groups objected to the harsh penalties, however. The Bureau of Indian Affairs even contended that they should be released because their actions were associated with war and not murder. In 1873, they were paroled on a pledge of good behavior for themselves and the entire Kiowa tribe. However, Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Arapaho war parties renewed their raids on white settlers under the Comanche leader Quanah Parker. These actions started the Red River War of 1874-1875. Satanta tried to prove to army officials that he was not a party to the raids. In September 1874, Big Tree appeared to THE Cheyenne Agency at Darlington to state that Satanta wished to surrender peacefully. True to his word, Satanta surrendered the next month. Although it appears that he had not violated the terms of his parole, Satanta was taken into custody and then imprisoned at Huntsville, Texas. On October 11, 1878, sick, tired, and despairing that he would ever be released, Satanta jumped off the upper floor of the prison hospital and committed suicide. The proud and dignified warrior was buried in Texas. His grandson, James Auchiah, received permission in 1963 to bring Satanta’s remains to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, so that he could be interred with other Kiowa chiefs.



(?-1892). White Horse (Tsen-tainte), a Kiowa chief during the second half of the nineteenth century, was noted among the tribe for his daring. Even in his teens he showed remarkable adeptness as an apprentice warrior. Due to his unusual strength, he became an outstanding horseman, able to snatch up a child while at a gallop. In the summer of 1867 White Horse joined a large party of Comanches and Kiowas on a revenge raid against the Navajos, who were then living in exile on the reservation near Fort Sumner, New Mexico. On the Canadian River near the Texas-New Mexico line, White Horse and some of his followers killed and scalped a Navajo warrior. Shortly afterward, the war party attacked a Navajo village on the Pecos River. Although White Horse participated in the council at Medicine Lodge Creek in Kansas, he soon cast his lot with the war faction and gained considerable notoriety during the early 1870s for his raids on Texas settlements. He and his followers made a raid on Fort Sill on June 12, 1870, following the annual tribal Sun Dance, and stole seventy-three mules from the post quartermaster. On June 22 they attacked a party of cattle drovers on the trail a few miles south of the fort. White Horse killed and scalped two men before a detachment of troops came to the Texans’ relief. Whites considered him the “most dangerous man” among the Kiowas. Shortly thereafter, White Horse led his band into Texas, killed Gottlieb Koozer, and took his wife and six children captive. Subsequently, on August 7 the Quaker Indian agent, Lawrie Tatum, reprimanded the guilty party and withheld the weekly rations until all captives and stolen stock were returned; the Koozers were ransomed for $100 each, and raids in the vicinity of Fort Sill were curtailed, but White Horse defiantly continued his attacks south of the Red River. On September 30 he ambushed a stagecoach en route to Fort Concho near Mount Margaret (also known as the Mound) and killed Martin Wurmser, a trooper who was serving as an escort. White Horse also participated in the Warren Wagontrain Raid on May 18, 1871, and helped carry the fatally wounded brave, Hau-tau, to safety during the fight; afterward he escaped arrest. While the imprisonment of chiefs Satanta and Big Tree momentarily curbed his raiding, he and Big Bow engineered another attack on a wagon train in what is now Crockett County on April 20, 1872, which resulted in the death of seventeen Mexican teamsters. On the way back from that foray, White Horse was wounded in the arm during a skirmish with Capt. N. Cooney’s Ninth Cavalry troops. On May 19 White Horse’s younger brother, Kim-pai-te, was killed in a fight with L. H. Luckett’s surveying crew near Round Timbers, twenty-five miles south of Fort Belknap. That event prompted White Horse to organize a revenge raid, and on June 9, with the help of Big Bow, he attacked the homestead of Abel Lee on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, about sixteen miles from Fort Griffin. Lee and his fourteen-year-old daughter Frances were fatally shot, his wife scalped and murdered, and the remaining three children carried into captivity. Soldiers trailed them, but the Kiowas escaped back to the reservation and held a scalp dance that went on for several nights. The Lee children remained captives for a few months before they were ransomed. After the 1872 councils and the release of Satanta and Big Tree from prison on parole, White Horse was peaceful for a time but remained with the war faction. He accompanied the intertribal war party to the second battle of Adobe Walls in June 1874 and was encamped in Palo Duro Canyon when Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie’s troops attacked on September 27. As a result, White Horse and his followers surrendered at Fort Sill on April 19, 1875. Because of the atrocities he had committed, he was among those singled out by Kicking Bird for incarceration at St. Augustine, Florida. In 1878 he was returned with the others to the reservation near Fort Sill, where he spent his remaining years peacefully with his family. White Horse died of a stomach ailment in 1892 and was buried on the reservation.




Lone Wolf ( Guipago )

Kiowa Chief . c.1820-1879




gioyathiary apache


The Kiowa Tribe


The Kiowa Tribe consisted of about 220 members and had 22 representatives attending the congress. They came from a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma, adjoining the Wichita. They called themselves Nadiishan-Dina, and are also mentioned under their Pawnee name of Gataka. Until being assigned to a reservation in 1869, the Kiowa were well known for their raiding wars. Since this time,they have been a typical plains tribe, without agriculture, pottery, or basketry, depending entirely on the buffalo for subsistence, and shifting their skin tipis from place to place as whim or necessity guided.

They hunted and fought on horseback, carrying the bow, the lance, and the shield (and more recently the rifle), and participated in the great annual ceremony of the sun dance.

Physically they are tall and well made, with bold, alert expression. Every man and woman of the delegation came dressed in full buckskin, beautifully fringed and beaded. They set up their canvas tipis adjoining the Wichita, enclosing one of them with a circular windbreak of leafy willow branches after the manner of the winter camps of the plains Indians. Suspended from a tripod in front of the same tipi was a genuine, old-time ‘buffalo shield’, the last shielding remaining in the tribe. It is now the property of the National Museum.

The name tipi, ‘house’, is from the Sioux language and has now almost entirely superseded the former term, lodge. The tipi is a conical structure, formerly of dressed buffalo hides, but now of cow-skins or canvas, sewn together with sinew, over a framework of poles of cedar or other wood, tied together near their tops and spread out at the ground to form a circle of about twenty feet diameter.

An average tipi would house a family of about six persons. Three strong poles form the main support of the tipi. One of these is at one side of the doorway, which always faces the east; another, to which is usually tied the ‘medicine-bag’ of the owner of the dwelling, is nearly opposite the doorway, while the third is on the north side. These three poles are first tied together about two feet from their upper ends with one end of a long rope, and are then raised in place by the women and firmly planted in the earth. The other poles are next sorted out according to length and leaned against them in such a way that when set up the tipi’s longest slope will be toward the front.

The covering is lifted onto this framework and the ends are fastened with a row of wooden pins. Grass and wild sage are used to fill in any spaces which might let in cold air.

The fire is built in a shallow hole dug in the center of the tipi. Behind and on each side of the fire are low platforms, set close against the wall of the tipi, which serve as seats by day and beds by night. The frames are of small poles, supporting mats of willow rods, usually looped at one end in hammock fashion, and covered with skins or blankets. Above the beds are canopies set so as to catch the raindrops which may come in through the smoke-hole during rainstorms.

The clear space of ground near the fireplace, where the women cook, is sometimes separated from the bed space by a border of interwoven twigs. The tipi is painted on the outside with heraldic designs and decorated with buffalo tails, streamers from the poles, or similar adornments. In summer it is set up on the open prairie to escape the mosquitoes. In winter it is removed to the shelter of the timber along the river bottom, and surrounded with a high fence or windbreak of willow branches.

Of the Kiowa Apache delegation the most prominent member was the hereditary chief, White-man, (pictured left). In spite of years he sits his horse as firmly and bears his lance as steadily as the youngest of his warriors. In former days he was one of the two war leaders deemed worthy to carry the beaver-skin staff which pledged them never to avoid a danger or turn aside from the enemy.

Another notable man is the captive, Big-whip, whose proper name is Pablino Diez, and who jokingly claims kinship with the distinguished president of the sister republic. He is one of a considerable number of captives still living among these southern tribes. Unlike most of these unfortunates, Pablino retains the knowledge of his name and his Spanish language, and remembers vividly how he was taken, when about eight years of age, in a sudden dash by the Apache upon the town of Parral in Chihuahua.

To see more images from the Indian Congress, visit the Indian Congress Photo Gallery. This collection includes over 500 photographs of Native Americans, including portraits of individuals, group photos of families and photographs of various activities.

The library also has the original “Secretary’s Report” from the TransMississippi Exposition. This document includes a section on the The Indian Congress by Mr. W. V. Cox, Secretary of the Government Exhibit Board. It also contains the Report of Captain Mercer, manager of the Indian Congress

apache jndian girl


apache Indian scouty


nuchez cichanhua apache

illustration below only for premium member

loot at CD-ROM

Conquering Bear ( Oglala Sioux )

Curley Bear ( Blackfoot )

Medicine Crow – Perits Shinakpas ( Crow ) 1848-….

Plenty Coups – Adhantsi ahush ( Crow ) 1848-1932

Scabby Bull – Kakuyanaka ( Arapaho )

Dull Knife ( Northern Cheyenne ) 1810-1883

Geronimo – Goyathlay ( Apache )  1829-1909

Naiche (Chiricahua Apache) 1857-1921 [Geronimo allied]

Low Dog – Xunka Kuciyedan ( Oglala Sioux )

Man Packs The Eagle – Whoe A Ke ( Cuthead Sioux )

Chato (Mescalero Apache) [Cochise Captain]

Red Arrow – Wanduta ( Lakota Sioux )

Crow King – Kangi Yatapi ( Hunkpapa Sioux )

Rain In The Face – Itomagaju (Hunkpapa Sioux) 1835-1905

Red Cloud – Mahpiya Luta (Oglala Sioux) 1822-1909

Red Cloud (old) – Mahpiya Luta (Oglala Sioux) 1822-1909

Red Fish ( Dakota Sioux )

Red Horse – Tasunke Luta – ( Sioux )

Chief Joseph – Hin mah too yah lat kekt  ( Nez Perce )

Two Hatchet ( Kiowa )

Sitting Bull – Tatanka Yotanka (Hunkpapa Sioux) 1831-1890

Sitting Bull – Tatanka Yotanka (Hunkpapa Sioux) 1831-1890

Gall – Pizi ( Hunkpapa Sioux ) 1838-1894

White Belly ( Sioux )

Two Strikes – Nomkahpa ( Brulé Sioux )

Yellow Dog ( Crow )

Little Big Man ( Oglala Sioux )

Red Armed Panther ( Cheyenne ) 



Apache Indian bow arrow


Apache Indian girl


Apache Indian altar


Apache Indian man




Chincahua apache princess

Portrait of an Indian maiden holding a finely-crafted, coiled basket. Like Indian men, women would also wear leggings above their moccasins.




Apache Geronimo head dress

Creation of the Apache Honor Society





Back in 1945 and 1946, Mr. Andy Reed, the Director of Camp Fuller By The Sea YMCA Camp for Boys, was very interested in Indian lore and had Princess Redwing of the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island, and Tarzan Brown (the marathon runner) come to camp and present the customs of the local New England tribes. Mr. Reed found out that I had an Indian heritage. My father’s great-grandmother married a member of the Mohawk Tribe in New Hampshire. Needless to say, back in the old days an interracial marriage was not common and that is why the maiden name of my father’s great-grandmother was used (Hanscomb) I had a background in Indian crafts, Indian dancing and etc., prior to being hired as a Counselor at Camp Fuller while I was a student at Cranston High School (since renamed Cranston High School East).

In the picture above, taken around 1946,  on the left, dressed as Chief Little Beaver, Chief of the Camp Fuller Apaches. Beside him is Mr. Andy Reed, who served as the Director of Camp Fuller from 1933 – 1947.

The man in the dark suit is the Honorable John O. Pastore, the then Governor of Rhode Island, a position he held from 1945 – 1950, after which time he was elected to the Senate from Rhode Island, serving from 1950 – 1976. The gentleman on the right of the picture in the white suit is Mr. Fred Bank, Insurance Executor and President of the Cranston Branch and the Rotary Club that donated the United Nations flagpoles (which are located between the Administration building and the Council Ring). (Click on the picture to see a larger version.)

Mr. Reed wanted an Honor Society at Fuller to match the one at the Boy Scout Camp. He asked him to adapt some of the admirable qualities of the Indians, along with the spirit, mind, and body symbol of the YMCA. Knowing the nostalgia in dealing with the Indians’ story of the Custer Fight and the folklore tales about Geronimo, he decided that the name of the Honor Society would be “Apache”. He wanted to show admiration and the highest esteem for Geronimo and Chief Apache John, who combined dealing with being brave, never running away from the challenges of manhood and showing the incredible quality of being at peace with mankind.


The very name APACHE means enemy and stands on the pages of all Indian History as a synonym of terror. The Apaches were hostile in many conflicts, and were favored with rare and gifted leadership. Due to Geronimo’s leadership, it took and required the skill, strategy and profoundest generalship of two of the greatest generals of the Civil War to subdue and capture the daring and reckless Geronimo.



Following Geronimo was Chief Apache John who surrendered to civilization (as Peace Maker) and attended the Great Indian Council in 1909. He participated with eminent Indian Chiefs from nearly every Indian Reservation in the United States. Books have been written about the stories of their lives as told through their own words. From these stories, the foundation and guidelines for the Camp Fuller Apache Honor Society were formulated.





Apache kid center with two other Indian Scout

 Said to have been the fiercest Apache next to Geronimo, as well as a notorious outlaw of the late 19th century, was the Apache Kid.Born in the 1860’s on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, the “Kid” was most likely of the White Mountain Apache. Named Haskay-bay-nay-natyl, “the tall man destined to come to a mysterious end,” the pronunciation was too much for the citizens of Globe, who simply called him “Kid.” Learning English at an early age, he worked at odd jobs in Globe and was soon befriended by the famous scout, Al Sieber. At that time, early settlers of the Southwest faced numerous raiding bands of Apaches and General George Crook had come up with the idea to use Apaches to fight other Apaches. Enlisting Apache Indians from San Carlos and other reservations, the enlisted scouts could locate the trails that the hunted Apaches traveled.  In 1881, the Kid enlisted in the Indian Scouts and was so good at the job that he was promoted to sergeant in July, 1882. The following year he accompanied General George Crook on the expedition of the Sierra Madre.
Geronimo Campaign of 1885-1886 found the Kid in Mexico early in 1885 with Sieber, and when the Chief of Scouts was recalled in the fall, Kid rode with him back to San Carlos. He re-enlisted with Lieutenant Crawford’s call for one hundred scouts for Mexican duty, and again went south in late 1885. In the Mexican town of Huasabas, on the Bavispe River, the Kid nearly lost his life in a drunken riot in which he had been a participant. Rather than see the Apache Kid shot by a Mexican firing squad, the judge fined him twenty dollars, and the Army sent him back to San Carlos. 


Apache Kid

In May, 1887 the Apache Kid was left in charge of the Indian Scouts and guardhouse at San Carlos when Captain Pierce and Al Sieber, an anglo scout, were both gone on business. Though the brewing of tiswin, a beverage made of fermented fruit or corn, was illegal on the reservation, with the white officers gone, the Indian Scouts decided to have a party. As the liquor flowed freely, a man named Gon-Zizzie killed the Apache Kid’s father, Togo-de-Chuz. Kid’s friends, in turn, killed Gon-Zizzie. However, the killing of Gon-Zizzie was not enough for the Apache Kid, who then went to the home of Gon-Zizzie’s brother, Rip, and killed him.  


Apache Kid (middle) with two other Indian Scouts.


When the Apache Kid and the four other scouts returned to San Carlos on June 1, 1857, both Captain Pierce and Al Sieber were there ahead of him. Captain Pierce ordered the scouts to disarm themselves and the Kid was the first to comply. As Pierce ordered them to the guardhouse to be locked up, a shot was fired from the crowd who had gathered to watch the display of events. In no time, the shots became widespread and Al Seiber was hit in the ankle, which ended up crippling him for life. During the melee that followed, the Apache Kid and several other Apaches fled. Though it was never determined who fired that shot that struck Sieber, it was for sure not the Kid nor the other four scouts ordered to the guardhouse as they had all been disarmed.

The Army, reacting swiftly, soon sent two troops of the Fourth Cavalry to find the Apache Kid and the others who had escaped. For two weeks the cavalry followed the fugitives along the banks of the San Carlos River, when finally, with the aid of more Indian Scouts, they located the Kid and his band in the Rincon Mountains.

The soldiers seized upon the Apaches‘ horses and equipment while the Indians fled by foot into the rocky canyons. In negotiations with the soldiers, Kid relayed a message to General Miles stating that if the Army would recall the cavalry he and his band would surrender.   When Miles complied, the Apache Kid and seven members of his band surrendered on June 25th.

The Kid and four others were court-martialed and found guilty of mutiny and desertion and sentenced to death by firing squad. However, General Miles was upset over the verdict and ordered the court to reconsider the sentence. When the court reconvened on August 3, they were re-sentenced to life in prison. Miles was still not satisfied and reduced the sentence to ten years. Beginning their sentence in the San Carlos guardhouse, they were later sent to Alcatraz.

However, their conviction was soon overturned on October 13, 1888, due to prejudice among the officers of the court-martial trial, and the Indians were returned to San Carlos as free men. Causing an outrage among the citizens of the area, a new warrant was issued in October, 1889 in Gila County for the re-arrest of the freed Apaches for assault to commit murder in the wounding of Al Sieber.

At the trial on October 25, 1889, four Apaches including the Apache Kid were found guilty and sentenced to seven years in the Territorial Prison at Yuma.  While being transported to the prison the Apache Kid, along with several others escaped. During the fighting that took place during the escape, the three guards, Glenn Reynolds, Eugene Middleton and W. A. Holmes, were overpowered. Glen Reynolds was killed, Middleton was wounded and Holmes apparently died of a heart attack. Middleton later recovered, saying the Kid had prevented another of the Apaches from “finishing” him by bashing his head with a rock.

The Kid and the others fled, their tracks obliterated by a snowstorm. It would be the last “official” sighting of Apache Kid, though unconfirmed reports of his whereabouts would continue to filter in for years.




Over the next few years the Apache Kid was accused of various crimes and said to have led a small band of renegade Apache followers, raiding ranches and freight lines throughout New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico as he hid out in the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains. Others insist that he became a lone wolf who was despised by his own people and was terribly feared by the Anglo settlers. Some accounts have the Apache Kid kidnapping an Apache woman until he tired of her, then killing her, before kidnapping yet another. Reportedly, the Kid preyed on lone ranchers, cowboys, and prospectors, killing them for their food, guns, and horses. Before long, a price of $5,000 was placed on his head by the Arizona Territorial Legislature, dead or alive, but no one ever claimed the reward. It is impossible to determine how many of the crimes he is blamed for that he actually committed. During an 1890 shootout between Sonoran Rurales (a branch of the army) and Apaches, a slain warrior was found to have Reynolds’ pistol and watch, but he was too old to have been the Kid.  After 1894, reports of his crimes came to an end. Some sources claimed he died at this time while others argue that he crossed into Mexico and retired to his mountain hideout.In 1899, Colonel Emilio Kosterlitzky, head of the Rurales, reported him alive and living with other Apaches in the Sierra Madre. In the interim, there were several unconfirmed reports of his death – by gunshot or by tuberculosis. However, southern Arizona ranchers continued to report Apache stock raids into the 1920s.There are so many different variations of the crimes committed by the Apache Kid, all with the purpose of exacting revenge for the treacherous way in which the Apache scouts had been treated by the army, that even historians cannot agree on exactly what he was responsible for, nor when he died. Seemingly, his namesake “the tall man destined to come to a mysterious end” was a prophecy. Though the questions are many regarding the death of the Apache Kid, a gravesite memorial can be found high in the San Mateo Mountains of the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico. Here is yet another place that the Apache Kid was said to have been killed, after having been hunted down by local ranchers angered by his relentless raids. Reportedly, to mark the site of the of the Kid’s undoing, the vengeful posse blazed a tree, the hacked remains of which you can see to this day. The grave is one mile northwest of Apache Kid Peak at Cyclone Saddle.


The Apache Kid as a prisoner in Globe, Arizona in 1889, courtesy Arizona Historical Society



apache Indian mask








Indian Mask of Tsunukwalah

Here for your browsing pleasure is an imposing photo of Tsunukwalahl. It was made in 1914 by Edward S. Curtis.

The illustration documents Person wearing Mask of Tsunukwalahl, a mythical being, used during the Winter Dance.

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Face of Sun God Kachina Mandala
Cynthia Whitehawk – Apache


This mini gourd Kachina Mandala is hand-painted hand-crafted Native American Ceremonial Healing Art.

The Sun God Kachina has a beautiful feather headdress.


8″ diameter hoop wrapped in soft deer skin;
22″ overall length from top of dreamcatcher hoop to tips of fringe.


Cynthia Whitehawk, Apache


The Kachina Mask is hand painted with acrylics & enamels for rich vibrant colors, genuine, unique, entirely hand crafted, signed and dated by the artist. Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.


Shields & Masks

Return Policy

Cynthia Whitehawk – Apache
Face of Sun God
Kachina Mask Mandala

$225 plus s/h

Shields & Masks


Paula says –

“This mandala is a unique and collectible piece of Native American art. Cynthia Whitehawk’s work is stellar. Her pieces are entirely hand crafted, made in ceremony, with attention to detail & durability.”


The cascading golden deerskin fringe is tipped with traditional nickel jingle cones, red and golden horn beads and brass, copper and nickel beads.


There is a Sterling Silver and Turquoise medallion at the base of the mandala.

Words from Apache artist Cynthia Whitehawk:


The techniques used in the creation of this one of a kind art are the most difficult to master. Miniature pyrography (carving with fire) takes the utmost of patience, a precise clear vision, as well as an extremely delicate hand. Not only is miniature work the most difficult, but the most time consuming, add to that working on a slick rounded surface which requires the highest of skill. This art is extremely rare and only practiced by the most gifted of people.


is a leader of ceremonies and represents Bringer of Warmth, shelter for the old, a bright future, and playfulness of the young. Sunface Kachina is essential to all life and growth, in nature as well as Spiritual.


Dreamcatchers originated in the Ojibwa Nation and were later adopted by Native Americans of a number of different Nations. The dreamcatcher was based on a willow hoop on which was woven a net or web of sinew. It was then decorated with personal and sacred items such as feathers and beads. Some consider the dreamcatcher a symbol of unity among the various Indian Nations, and a general symbol of identification with Native American or First Nations cultures. Others believe that dreamcatchers protect sleepers from nightmares – the web allows only good dreams to pass through while holding bad dreams to perish in the light of day.


She is the creator and weaver of life, the great teacher, protector and Mother of all creation. She manifests as Sacred Guardian, overseeing the welfare of all those in need. In her aspect as Creator and Mother, Spider Woman affirms that women are essential and central to the life process. She reminds us that people of all races were created from the same source, with equal rights and responsibilities.


Shields are ancient ceremonial tools, providing protection from that which would harm or divert one from the good path, bringing strength and healing through ones power totems, Spirit Animals and Beings, and Mother Earths elements.


A design symbolic of the universe that is used in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation. A Native American mandala is a hoop similar to a dreamcatcher but instead of a web the hoop is filled with yarn, feathers, fur and usually has feathers hanging from the bottom. A mandala is something you use in ceremony or hang for prosperity and good fortune on a door or wall inside your office, home, hogan, or tipi.




Our time ended long ago

 Be still and listen

Hear our messages in the wind

Today we are a whisper

Tomorrow we thunder

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 Apache Cowboy  Apache Indian  Apache Man
 Indian War Dance  Apache Reaper   Apache Still Life 
 Apache Girl  Indian Boy  Apache Indian
 Apache Girl  Apache Indian Man  Indian Mask 
 Medicine Cap   Apache Girl   Apache Maiden 
 Indian Baby 

Medicine Man

Medicine Man

 War Party   Brule War Party  Going Home 


Indian Camp

 Indian Woman  Old Indian
 Indian Hut  Indian Storm  Indian Ceremony 
 Indian Land  Women Cooking  The Cornfield
 Apache Indian Man  Indian Fishing  Indian Man
 Indian Son  Indian Visitors  Indian Lessons
 Misunderstood  Undecided  Wise Man
 The Chill  Eternal Rest  Indians on Horses




I apache Indian jewelary









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Title : Apache Hunter; C.1880
Title : Apache Men & White Man; Camp Apache, Arizona, C.1890
Title : Twenty-Four Noted Indian Chiefs; C.1890



Title : Aged Apache Woman; 1906
Title : Apache Children & Adults & Captured White Boy; 1886
Title : Twenty-Four Noted Indian Chiefs; C.1890


Title : Apache Bird Hunter & Bag; C.1900
Title : Apache at Cook Jewelry Store; Prescott, Arizona, C.1910
Title : Apache (?) Indian woman working in cornfield S.L., N.D.

Title : Apache Woman Weaving Basket; 1900
Title : Twenty-Four Noted Indian Chiefs; C.1890

Title : Apache Woman & Baby; C.1900

Title : Apache Indian Women Delivering Hay to Quartermaster; San-Carlos, Arizona, 1887
Title : Apache Indian Wickiup; N.D.
Title : Indian Camp; 1886

Title : Homes of Scouts, San Carlos, Arizona, c. 1880s
Title : Apache Indian Woman Weaving; N.D.
Title : Group of Apache Indian-Scouts; C.1880

Title : Apache Indian Farms San-Carlos, Arizona; C.1880
Title : Apache Indian Camp Before Surrender to U.S. Cavalry; 1886
Title : Group of Apache Indian-Scouts; C.1880

Title : Apache Indian Men & Women; San-Carlos, Arizona; N.D.
Title : Council to Arrange Surrender of Apache-Indians; 1886


Title : Apache Man with War Bow & Arrows, c. 1880s


Title : Mescalero Apache Chief; C.1880
Title : Apache woman with baby in cradleboard, Prescott, Arizona, C.1890
Title : Apache man with Springfield Musket, Prescott, Arizona, C.1875

Title : Apache Indian Women at Anglo Gathering; C.1900
Title : Apache Scouts scattered on hillside, Canon de los Embudos, Arizona, C.1880
Title : Apache men with Winchester Rifle and headdress, Prescott, Arizona, C.1880

Title : Four portraits; Apache men, Cocopah man, Navajo Man; S.L., N.D.
Title : Apache medicine woman, S.L., C.1890
Title : Apache men with Winchester Rifle and headdress, Prescott, Arizona, C.1880

Title : Apache woman with baby in cradleboard, Prescott, Arizona, C.1890

Title : Apache man with Springfield Musket, Prescott, Arizona, C.1875
Title : Apache men, one playing Apache violin, San Carlos Reservation, Arizona, C.1880

Title : Apache woman weaving a burden basket, S.L., C. 1900
Title : Groups of Apache men with weapons, S.L., C.1880
Title : Apache Women, S.L., C.1900


Title : Apache women, S.L., C.1900
Title : Groups of Apache men with weapons, S.L., C.1880


Title : White Mountain Apache Chief, S.L., C.1880

Title : Apache women, S.L., C.1900
Title : Apache men and women hauling wood, S.L., C.1890
Title : Apache men, women, and children, S.L., C.1900

Title : Groups of Apache men with weapons, S.L., C.1880
Title : Apache children underneath a ramada, S.L., C. 1880
Title : Apache twin babies in cradleboards, S.L., C.1900

Title : Apache twin babies in cradleboards, S.L., C.1900
Title : Apache men and Anglos at tent camp, S.L., C.1890


Title : Apache family: man wears gun, gun belt, and chaps, S.L., C.1880


Title : Apache Family, S.L., C.1890
Title : Apache baby girl, “Apache May.” Captured by John Slaughter, S.L., C.1890

Title : Six Apache men: two carry Springfield Muskets; one man in uniform, S.L., C.1880


Title : Apache man in leg irons, with two women, S.L., C.1890
Title : Apache baby girl, “Apache May.” Captured by John Slaughter, S.L., C.1890

Title : Apache youth wearing unusual bead and bone necklace, S.L., C.1880

Title : Apache Indians at Roosevelt Lake, Arizona, C.1890
Title : Apache woman, “Cittie Mittie,” holding basket and awl canes, S.L., C.1890

Title : Apache women, S.L., C.1900

Title : Eight Apache Scouts with bolt action rifles, S. L., C.1885
Title : Apache scouts and soliders trailing “The Apache Kid”, S.L., C.1870

Title : Apache Scout, S.L., C.1880

Title : Apache Scout with Springfield musket, S.L., C. 1880
Title : Apache Scouts at Fort Apache, Arizona, C.1870

Title : Apache Scout, S.L., C.1880


Title : Apache Scouts, S.L., C.1880
Title : Apache Scouts at Fort Apache, Arizona, C.1870

Title : Apache women and children, S.L., C.1880


Title : Portrait of an Apache Scout, S.L. C.1890
Title : Apache Scouts with interpreter, Mariojolvido Grehalva, and Lt. Clark, S.L., 1882
Title : Apaches with W. H. Williscraft, near Grant, Arizona, C.1880

Title : Apache Scout, Camp Verde, Arizona, C.1880

Title : Nana, Apache Chief, S.L.


Title : Apache Chief Bonito; C.1870


Title : Three Apache Scouts, including “The Apache Kid,” Tombstone, Arizona, 1886 


Title : Mickey Free, S. L., C.1870

Title : Geronimo in council with General George Crook and others, S.L., 1886

Title : “The Apache Kid,” S.L., N.D.
Title : Chiricahua Apache Chief, Chatto, S.L., C.1870
Title : Geronimo in council with General George Crook and others, S.L., 1886


Title : “The Apache Kid,” S.L., N.D.

Title : Apache Outlaws: C.1870

Title : Apache Chief Geronimo; 1886


Title : Apache Chief Geronimo; 1886
Title : Apache Chief Natches, c. 1876



Camp Verde, Arizona, occasionally present public performances of the Mountain Spirit Dance. Oklahoma Apaches sometimes perform the Fire Dance at the annual American Indian Exposition in Anadarko, Oklahoma; and the San Carlos Apache, San Carlos, Arizona, and the White Mountain Apache, Whiteriver, Arizona, perform the Sunrise Dance and Mountain Spirit Dance throughout the summer, but their traditional dances are most easily observed at the San Carlos Tribal Fair and the White Mountain Tribal Fair.


Apaches celebrate a number of holidays each year with events that are open to the public. The San Carlos Apache Tribal Fair is celebrated annually over Veterans Day weekend at San Carlos, Arizona. The Tonto Apache and Yavapai-Apache perform public dances each year at the Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, Arizona, on the Fourth of July. The White Mountain Apache host The Apache Tribal Fair, which usually occurs on Labor Day weekend, at Whiteriver, Arizona. The Jicarilla Apache host the Little Beaver Rodeo and Powwow, usually in late July, and the Gojiiya Feast Day on September 14-15 each year, at Dulce, New Mexico. The Mescalero Apache Gahan Ceremonial occurs each year on July 1-4 at Mescalero, New Mexico. Apaches in Oklahoma participate in the huge, week-long American Indian Exposition in Anadarko, Oklahoma, each August.


Apaches have suffered devastating health problems from the last decades of the nineteenth century and throughout most of the twentieth century. Many of these problems are associated with malnutrition, poverty, and despair. They have suffered incredibly high rates of contagious diseases such as tuberculosis. Once tuberculosis was introduced among the Jicarilla, it spread at an alarming rate. The establishment of schools, beginning in 1903, only gave the tuberculosis bacteria a means of spreading rapidly throughout the entire tribe. By 1914, 90 percent of the Jicarillas suffered from tuberculosis. Between 1900 and 1920, one-quarter of the people died. One of the reservation schools had to be converted into a tuberculosis sanitarium in an attempt to address the crisis. The sanitarium was not closed until 1940.

Among nearly all Native peoples of North America, alcohol has been an insidious, destructive force, and the Apache are no exception. A recent study found that on both the Fort Apache Reservation and the San Carlos Reservation, alcohol was a factor in more than 85 percent of the major crimes. Alcohol, though long known to the Apache, has not always been a destructive force. Sharing the traditional telapi (fermented corn sprouts), in the words of one elder, “made people feel good about each other and what they were doing together.” Alcohol as a destructive force in Apache culture is a phenomenon that dates from colonization, and it has been a byproduct of demoralization and despair. Tribal leaders have attempted to address the underlying health problems by trying to create tribal enterprise, by fostering and encouraging bilingual and bicultural educational opportunities, and by trying to make it possible for Apaches to gain more control over their lives.


The Athapascan language family has four branches: Northern Athapascan, Southwestern Athapascan, Pacific Coast Athapascan, and Eyak, a southeast Alaska isolate. The Athapascan language family is one of three families within the Na-Dene language phylum; the other two, the Tlingit family and the Haida family, are language isolates in the far north, Tlingit in southeast Alaska, and Haida in British Columbia. Na-Dene is one of the most widely distributed language phyla in North America. The Southwestern Athapascan language, sometimes called Apachean, has seven dialects: Navajo, Western Apache, Chiricahua, Mescalero, Jicarilla, Lipan, and Kiowa-Apache.

Family and Community Dynamics

For the Apaches, the family is the primary unit of political and cultural life. Apaches have never been a unified nation politically, and individual Apache tribes, until very recently, have never had a centralized government, traditional or otherwise. Extended family groups acted entirely independently of one another. At intervals during the year a number of these family groups, related by dialect, custom, inter-marriage, and geographical proximity, might come together, as conditions and circumstances might warrant. In the aggregate, these groups might be identifiable as a tribal division, but they almost never acted together as a tribal division or as a nation—not even when faced with the overwhelming threat of the Comanche migration into their Southern Plains territory. The existence of these many different, independent, extended family groups of Apaches made it impossible for the Spanish, the Mexicans, or the Americans to treat with the Apache Nation as a whole. Each individual group had to be treated with separately, an undertaking that proved difficult for each colonizer who attempted to establish authority within the Apache homeland.

Apache culture is matrilineal. Once married, the man goes with the wife’s extended family, where she is surrounded by her relatives. Spouse abuse is practically unknown in such a system. Should the marriage not endure, child custody quarrels are also unknown: the children remain with the wife’s extended family. Marital harmony is encouraged by a custom forbidding the wife’s mother to speak to, or even be in the presence of, her son-in-law. No such stricture applies to the wife’s grandmother, who frequently is a powerful presence in family life. Apache women are chaste, and children are deeply loved.

Employment and Economic Traditions

Apaches can be found pursuing careers in all the professions, though most of them must leave their communities to do so. Some are college faculty; others, such as Allan Houser, grand-nephew of Geronimo, have achieved international reputations in the arts. Farming and ranching continue to provide employment for many Apaches, and Apaches have distinguished themselves as some of the finest professional rodeo performers.

By 1925, the Bureau of Indian Affairs had leased nearly all of the San Carlos Reservation to non-Indian cattlemen, who demonstrated no concern about overgrazing. Most of the best San Carlos farmland was flooded when Coolidge Dam was completed in 1930. Recreational concessions around the lake benefit mostly non-Natives. By the end of the 1930s, the tribe regained control of its rangeland and most San Carlos Apaches became stockmen. Today, the San Carlos Apache cattle operation generates more than $1 million in sales annually. Cattle, timber, and mining leases provide additional revenue. There is some individual mining activity for the semiprecious peridot gemstones. A chronic high level of unemployment is the norm on most reservations in the United States. More than 50 percent of the tribe is unemployed. The unemployment rate on the reservation itself is about 20 percent. U.S. Census Bureau figures show the median family income for Apaches was $19,690, which is $16,000 less than for the general population. Also, 37.5 percent of Apaches had incomes at or below the poverty level as of 1989.

A number of tribal economic enterprises offer some employment opportunities. The Fort Apache Timber Company in Whiteriver, Arizona, owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache, employs about 400 Apache workers. It has a gross annual income of approximately $30 million, producing 100 million board feet of lumber annually (approximately 720,000 acres of the reservation is timberland). The tribe also owns and operates the Sunrise Park Ski Area and summer resort, three miles south of McNary, Arizona. It is open year-round, and contributes both jobs and tourist dollars to the local economy. The ski area has seven lifts and generates $9 million in revenue per year. Another tribally owned enterprise is the White Mountain Apache Motel and Restaurant. The White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair is another important event economically.

The Jicarilla Apache also operate a ski enterprise, offering equipment rentals and trails for a cross-country ski program during the winter months. The gift shop at the Jicarilla museum provides an outlet for the sale of locally crafted Jicarilla traditional items, including basketry, beadwork, feather work, and finely tanned buckskin leather.

Many members of the Mescalero Apache find employment at their ski resort, Ski Apache. Others work at the tribal museum and visitor center in Mescalero, Arizona. A 440-room Mescalero resort, the Inn of the Mountain Gods, has a gift shop, several restaurants, and an 18-hole golf course, and offers casino gambling, horseback riding, skeet and trap shooting, and tennis. The tribe also has a 7,000-head cattle ranch, a sawmill, and a metal fabrication plant. In 1995, the Mescaleros signed a controversial $2 billion deal with 21 nuclear power plant operators to store nuclear waste on a remote corner of the reservation. The facility is scheduled to open in 2002, barring any legal challenges.

For the Yavapai-Apache, whose small reservation has fewer than 300 acres of land suitable for agriculture, the tourist complex at the Montezuma Castle National Monument—where the tribe owns the 75 acres of land surrounding the monument—is an important source of employment and revenue.

Tourism, especially for events such as tribal fairs and for hunting and fishing, provides jobs and brings money into the local economies at a number of reservations. Deer and elk hunting are especially popular on the Jicarilla reservation. The Jicarilla also maintain five campgrounds where camping is available for a fee. Other campgrounds are maintained by the Mescalero Apache (3), the San Carlos Apache (4), and the White Mountain Apache (18).

Politics and Government

The Apache tribes are federally recognized tribes. They have established tribal governments under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461-279), also known as the Wheeler-Howard Act, and they successfully withstood attempts by the U.S. government to implement its policy during the 1950s of terminating Indian tribes. The Wheeler-Howard Act, however, while allowing some measure of self-determination in their affairs, has caused problems for virtually every Indian nation in the United States, and the Apaches are no exception. The act subverts traditional Native forms of government and imposes upon Native people an alien system, which is something of a mix of American corporate and governmental structures. Invariably, the most traditional people in each tribe have had little to say about their own affairs, as the most heavily acculturated and educated mixed-blood factions have dominated tribal affairs in these foreign imposed systems. Frequently these tribal governments have been little more than convenient shams to facilitate access to tribal mineral and timber resources in arrangements that benefit everyone but the Native people, whose resources are exploited. The situations and experiences differ markedly from tribe to tribe in this regard, but it is a problem that is, in some measure, shared by all.


Apaches were granted U.S. citizenship under the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. They did not legally acquire the right to practice their Native religion until the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 1996). Other important rights, and some attributes of sovereignty, have been restored to them by such legislation as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1966 (25 U.S.C. 1301), the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act of 1975 (25 U.S.C. 451a), and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 1901). Under the Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946, the Jicarillas have been awarded nearly $10 million in compensation for land unjustly taken from them, but the United States refuses to negotiate the return of any of this land. In Merrion v. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Jicarillas in an important case concerning issues of tribal sovereignty, holding that the Jicarillas have the right to impose tribal taxes upon minerals extracted from their lands.

Individual and Group Contributions


Apaches are making important contributions to Native American literature and the arts. Lorenzo Baca, of Mescalero Apache and Isleta Pueblo heritage, is not only a writer, but also a performing and visual artist who does fine art, sculpture, video, storytelling and acting. His poetry has been anthologized in The Shadows of Light: Poetry and Photography of the Motherlode and Sierras (Jelm Mountain Publications), in Joint Effort II: Escape (Sierra Conservation Center), and in Neon Powwow: New Native American Voices of the Southwest (Northland Publishing). His audio recording, Songs, Poems and Lies, was produced by Mr. Coyote Man Productions. An innovative writer, his circle stories entitled “Ten Rounds” in Neon Powwow illustrate his imagination and capacity to create new forms of poetic expression. Jicarilla Apache creative writers Stacey Velarde and Carlson Vicenti present portraits of Native people in the modern world in their stories in the Neon Powwow anthology. Velarde, who has been around horses all her life and has competed in professional rodeos since the age of 13, applies this background and knowledge in her story “Carnival Lights,” while Vicenti, in “Hitching” and “Oh Saint Michael,” shows how Native people incorporate traditional ways into modern life.

White Mountain Apache poet Roman C. Adrian has published poetry in Sun Tracks, The New Times, Do Not Go Gentle, and The Remembered Earth. The late Chiricahua Apache poet Blossom Haozous, of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was a leader in the bilingual presentation of Apache traditional stories, both orally and in publication. One of the stories, “Quarrel Between Thunder and Wind” was published bilingually in the Chronicles of Oklahoma, the quarterly scholarly journal of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Jose L. Garza, Coahuilateca and Apache, is not only a leading Native American poet but a leading Native American educator as well. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Akwe:kon Journal, of the American Indian Program at Cornell University, The Native Sun, New Rain Anthology, The Wayne Review, Triage, and The Wooster Review. Garza is a professor at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and is a regional coordinator of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Mentor and Apprentice Writers. In Wordcraft Circle, he organizes and helps conduct intensive writing workshops in which young Native writers from all tribes have an opportunity to hone their creative skills and learn how they can publish their work.

Other Apache writers include Lou Cuevas, author of Apache Legends: Songs of the Wild Dancer and In the Valley of the Ancients: A Book of Native American Legends (both Naturegraph); Jicarilla Apache scholar Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, the author of The Jicarilla Apache Tribe (University of Nebraska Press); and Michael Lacapa, of Apache, Hopi, and Pueblo heritage, the author of The Flute Player, Antelope Woman: An Apache Folktale, and The Mouse Couple (all Northland). Throughout the Apache tribes, the traditional literature and knowledge of the people is handed down from generation to generation by storytellers who transmit their knowledge orally.


Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allan Houser has been acclaimed throughout the world for his six decades of work in wood, marble, stone, and bronze. Houser was born June 30, 1914, near Apache, Oklahoma. He died on August 22, 1994, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His Apache surname was Haozous, which means “Pulling Roots.”

In the 1960s, Houser was a charter faculty member at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where he began to cast statues in bronze. He taught until 1975. After retirement from teaching, he devoted himself full-time to his work, creating sculptures in bronze, wood, and stone. In April 1994, he presented an 11-foot bronze sculpture to first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C., as a gift from the American Indians to all people.

Houser was known primarily for his large sculptures. Many of these could be seen in a sculpture garden, arranged among pinon and juniper trees, near his studio. His work is included in the British Royal Collection, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, the Museum of Northern Arizona at Flagstaff, Arizona, the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, the Fine Arts Museum of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Apache Tribal Cultural Center in Apache, Oklahoma, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the University Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Houser’s work has won many awards, including the Prix de West Award in 1993 for a bronze sculpture titled “Smoke Signals” at the annual National Academy of Western Art show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “Smoke Signals” is now a part of the permanent collection of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

One of his best known works, a bronze statue of an Indian woman, titled “As Long as the Waters Flow,” stands in front of the state capitol of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. At the University of Oklahoma, in Norman, two large Houser sculptures were on loan to the university and on display on the grounds of the campus at the time of his death. At the Fred Jones Jr. Museum on campus several Houser pieces from private Oklahoma collections were on view. Upon his death, the University of Oklahoma Student Association announced the creation of the Allan Houser Memorial Sculpture Fund. The fund will be used to purchase a major Houser sculpture for permanent display on the University of Oklahoma campus.

Jordan Torres (1964– ) is a Mescalero Apache sculptor from the tribe’s reservation near Ruidoso, New Mexico. His work illustrates the Apache way of life. It includes “Forever,” an alabaster sculpture of an Apache warrior carrying a shield and blanket; and a white buffalo entitled “On the Edge.”


the end @ Copyright 2912

The American Indian Navayo History Collections

American Indian History Collections

Part four

The Unites States Indian part two

Navayo Indians


Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Limited private E-BOOK in CD-ROM Edition

Special for Premium member



The American Navajo Indian


Navayo women and children


Navayo Indian dance


Navayo Indian barboncito chief


Navayo Indian dolls


Read More Info

Navajo Indians




Navajo Indians: Barboncito – Chief of the Navajo Tribe in New Mexico



Navayo boy


Union Pasofic Navayo


Navayo Indian cloth


Navayo Indian girl


Chief of the San Yuan Navayo Indian


Navayo Indian man


Navayo Indian old man



Navayo Indian stingbow arrow

 the illustration below sorry not upload,you can look at Driwan E-Book in CD-ROM, special for premium member,please subscribed via comment,

Vintage navayo indian picture






Navayo Indian profile



Navayo Indian mother and child


Navayo Indian children

Navayo Indian mask





















Navajo Indian silver smith

Native American ‘s Navajo Indian Jewelry Making

Photos Courtesy of Denver Museum Digital Archive & Library
of Congress.

American Indian jewelry is known throughout the
world for its use of sterling silver and turquoise,
a combination appreciated, worn and collected
for more than one hundred years. Turquoise holds
a special allure in the Southwest where it was
also linked to maize and status. Below A Navajo
Native American warrior proudlywears a silver
and turquoise Indian necklace, 1890.


The illustration of jewellary below only for premium member . look at CD-ROM

Southwestern Jewellery







Navajo woman


Preceding  the Europeans’ arrival in  the Americas, Native Indian jewellery was fairly simple in technique, consisting primarily of hammering and etching copper into pendants or earrings and fashioning copper and silver into beads. Then, in the mid-19th century, when Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists began to learn the art of silversmithing from their interaction with the Spanish, their metal jewelry designs burgeoned in the Southwest. Native jewelry such as the Squash Blossom necklace design (see the examples below), unique to the region – including Hopi silver overlay bracelets and Navajo turquoise inlay rings – combined and developed from that amalgamation of newly learned Spanish smithing techniques with their own traditional native designs to create distinctly Southwestern-styled jewellery unique to Native Indian culture.


Example of Squash Blossom jewellery



Image courtesy of:


Each Native American Indian Tribe has its own unique style of jewelry making.


The Zuni Indian Nation  (located in New Mexico): the Zuni jewellers’ distinctive designs utilize mosaic (to stunning effect – as evidenced in the example below), clusters, channel inlayand what is commonly referred to as the petit point or needlepoint methods, using a variety of hard materials in the form of miscellaneous stones and shells.



Micro-mosaic inlay silver bracelet


The Navajo Indian Nation (located in the northern portion of Arizona and New Mexico):  are famous for their Squash Blossom necklaces and their jewellers tend to use large pieces of turquoise, coral and other inlay stones. Navajo sand casting is one of the oldest silver working methods; the Navajos are the largest producers of Native American jewelry.



Silver & turquoise necklace, 1960s
Other examples of Squash Blossom designs, above & below



The Hopi Indian Nation (located in the region of Arizona): the Hopi silversmiths favour the overlay technique with infrequent use of stones in their jewelry. According to the site,, “Making jewelry with the overlay technique involves sawing the design out of one sheet of silver and then overlaying it on a second sheet to which it is then sweated or soldered. The background is oxidized to darken it with the top layer of the jewelry polished.”



Squash Blossom necklace & bracelet by Jack Adakai


The Santo Domingo Indian Nation (New Mexico): their techniques make use of seashells, turquoise, jet and coral and are known for their bead jewellery.



Zuni Sun-face Squash Blossom necklace


Traditionally speaking, although Southwestern Indian jewellery is more often than not executed in silver, contemporary designers are finding new ways to express their talents, such as their experimentation in the usage of gold (as the examples below demonstrate). Occasionally, they mix both metals, silver and gold, in the same piece.




Gold and turquoise



Bisbee turquoise








Navajo silver, turquoise & coral bracelet

by silversmith Jeanette Dale, signed: ‘JDale’




Silver & Morenci turquoise pin by Edison Smith, ca. 1975




Contemporary New Mexican jewellery

By Michael Zobel of Atelier Zobel

(Note the combination of gold and silver)



Below are two examples of the work of silver and goldsmith artisan,

Jimmy King Jr.


Inlaid link bracelet by Jimmy King Jr.



Handmade silver cuff bracelet by Jimmy King Jr.







Silver ring made with natural Pilot Mountain turquoise

by Orville Tsinnie




Zuni Channel turquoise inlay necklace





An example of Santa Fe native Richard Stump’s contemporary design:

A bracelet of silver, turquoise & coral









Below are examples of coral & silver bracelets:



Bracelet by David Cadman



By David Cadman



50 stone row bracelet by Albert Jake



Coral cluster bracelet by Albert Jake







14K gold & coral bangle by the artisan Edith Tsabetsaye






The jewellery of silversmiths, Wilson & Carol Begay:






Sandcast silver & Royston turquoise cuff bracelet






Silver & Morenci turquoise belt buckle








Sandcast silver cuff bracelet





Triple turquoise necklace by Charles Johnson







Silver belt buckle by silversmith Harrison Bitsue





Silver & Morenci turquoise cuff by Jay Livingston






Cuff bracelet by Arviso




A Darryl Yonnie silver & turquoise bracelet




Allsion Lee bracelets with Carico Lake turquoise




Silver & Lone Mountain turquoise – marked RM






A pair of R. Chee cuff bracelets with Royston turquoise



A pair of silver & turquoise cuffs by Derrick Gordon








Below is an illustration of what is known as ‘Needlepoint’




Silver & turquoise Needlepoint cuff by Calvin Eustace






Tufa cast silver & turquoise bracelet by Harry H. Begay






Silver & turquoise cuff bracelet by Frederick Brown



Cuffs designed for men:


Buffalo horn, silver, gold, turquoise & coral men’s cuff by Boyd Tsosie




Silver, gold and turquoise men’s cuff by Aaron Anderson




Al Joe Easter silver & turquoise cuff




Fossil ivory, silver, turquoise & coral cuff by Richard Tsosie




Silver & turquoise cuff by Richard Tsosie




Aaron Anderson silver & turquoise beads cuff




Tufa cast heavy bracelet by Aaron Anderson & Tommy Jackson






Tufa cast silver, turquoise & coral men’s cuff by Olin Tsingine


Turquoise & silver belt buckle by Vernon Haskie



The work of Wes Willie




Gold, coral & turquoise bracelet







Tufa cast silver & stone inlaid cuff






14K gold cuff wiht stone inlays


An example of silver and gold used in one piece






Silver, gold, turquoise & coral bracelet



Zuni cuff by Don C. Dewa








Silver, turquoise & coral


Navajo bracelet by David Tune








Silver and various inlaid stones



Millicent Rogers amassed a massive collection of Navajo jewellery, textiles and artifacts. Her namesake museum in Taos, The Millicent Rogers Museum, built to house her extensive collections, opened in 1956 by her family to preserve and showcase her extensive collection of the Southwestern art that she had lovingly assembled during her lifetime. Astoundingly, just of Millicent’s vast personal collection of silver and turquoise Southwestern jewellery alone, the museum contains over one thousand pieces .



American Indian Jewelry has been found in excavations of prehistoric ruins. Bead making is an
ancient craft. Bead necklaces are often called heishe, (see heishe necklace above right), from the
Santo Domingo word for shell. Seashells are commonly used to make beads. Oyster Shell, Mother of
Pearl, Abalone, Conch and Clam have been important trade items in the Southwest for over 1,000




American Indians are known worldwide for their beautiful turquoise jewelry, which usually includes
silver, especially the Navajo. See 1900
“squash blossom” Indian necklace below left,
and a Navajo Indian silversmith at work
in 1900 below right.

Squash Blossom Necklace 1900.

 Native beadwork  was already extremely
advanced in pre-Columbian times, including
the fine grinding of turquoise, coral, and
shell beads into smooth heishi necklaces,
the delicate carving of individual wood and
bone beads, the soaking and piecing of Navajo Indian Silversmith in 1900.
porcupine quills, and the intricate stitching
of thousands of beads together.

However, the use of tiny glass seed beads that are popularly associated with American Indians, was
not introduced into jewelry making until the 19th century. Seagoing fur traders appeared on the
Oregon and Washington coasts and began trading glass seed beads to various tribes, who
incorporated them into their jewelry and clothing designs.

Imported Czech seed beads have been the favored medium among many Indian artists for centuries
now, as shown in the jewelry pendant above.

Most Native American Indian tribes use Sterling Silver in their jewelry making, but it was not
introduced until the 1800s. Hopi and Pueblo artists learned silver-making from the Spanish making
silver Indian jewelry blossoms in the Southwest.

Sterling Silver is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Silver is very soft so copper is added
which makes it malleable.

Many southwest Indian tribes have been making bead jewelry since ancient times, using the natural
elements around them, such as seashells, turquoise, jet and coral.

Native American Indian jewelry making skills are taught from one generation to the next and
families take pride in continuing the traditions of excellence and a sense of pride in themselves,
their Indian culture, and fostering American Indian tribal identity.




The Navajo live in the Four Corners area of the American southwest. This is the junction of northeast Arizona, southeast Utah, northwest New Mexico, and southwest Colorado. (There is a marker at the point where one can stand and simultaneously be in four different states.)


Marker at Four Corners (circa 1908)
Facing Northwest from New Mexico

According to Navajo legend, their land is enclosed by four sacred mountains and two sacred rivers.

The four sacred mountains are:

  • North — Mt. Hesperus, or Dibe’ntsaaa, (West of Durango, Colorado).
  • South — Mt. Taylor or Yucca Mountain, or Tsoodzil, (Near Grants, New Mexico).
  • East — Mt. Blanca or Gobernador Knob, or Tsisnaajini’, (East of Alamosa, Colorado).
  • West — San Francisco Peaks or Huerfanao Mountain, or Doko’oosliid, (Near Flagstaff, Arizona). This is the highest mountain in Arizona, and the city of Flagstaff is at its base.

The two sacred rivers bound the region at the north and south:

  • North — San Juan River (along southern Utah border).
  • South — Little Colorado River (middle of Arizona).

History of the Navajo People


The existence of the Navajo as a people cannot be dated with any accuracy prior to A.D. 1500. The Navajo, like their cousins the Apache, are descended from the Athapaskan peoples who migrated from northwest Canada to the American southwest. (The name is also sometimes written as Athabaskan, but since their language lacked a “b” it is pronounced as a “p”. To this day the Navajo and Apache languages lack a “b” sound.)

The Athapaskans settled among ancestors of the Pueblo Peoples, commonly known as Anasazi, and had a relationship with them that was, until intervention by the United States, predatory, aggressive, and typically brutal. Even after the United States forced the Navajo to stop their raids, the Navajo managed to steal a substantial amount of Hopi land and then proceeded to despoil it, even to this day.

The Athapaskans normally ranched sheep, hunted and gathered, and raised corn and peaches, but they would also periodically raid the Pueblo Peoples. These raids, which were expanded to encompass Spanish, Mexican, and other settlers, continued until Kit Carson’s famous campaign.

The Athapaskans called themselves Diné (pronounced Dee-nay) which means simply “The People”. This is the name by which the Navajo refer to themselves today, and they refer to the area of land given to them by the Ye’i (deities) as Dinétah.

The name Navajo is a corruption of Nabaxu, which is the Tanoan word for an arroyo on the Rio Grande which had cultivated fields. The name Apache, interestingly enough, comes from the Tewa word apachu, meaning “strangers” or “enemy”. This is itself interesting since the Navajo themselves, even today, regard all non-Navajos as “enemies”. This is, in fact, the origin of the name Anasazi — it means “Ancestor of Enemies”. The name Navajo first appears in a 1626 Spanish document describing the local peoples as Apaches de Nabaxu, a combination of Tewa and Spanish meaning “Enemies of the Cultivated Fields”.

Virtually everything that is known about the Navajo from before the Mexican-American War — after which the southwest became the property of the United States — comes from Spanish and Mexican records. These records are primarily accounts of the interminable skirmishes and wars, and the numerous failed attempts to christianize the Navajo. Not all accounts are of wars, however. A 1788 report by Vicente Troncoso, who was the head of the Mexican Bureau of Indian Affairs, contains a description of the Navajo way of life. His description is one of the few that exists.

An excellent history of the Navajo can be found in Campbell Grant’s book on the peoples of Canyon de Chelly.

Colonization by Spain


In 1595, the king of Spain ordered the colonization of what the Spanish called “New Mexico”, in an effort to replenish the depleted treasury. The fact that the area was already populated by various native peoples did not seem to be a particular impediment to a Spanish invasion. At that time, New Mexico was a very large area consisting of Arizona and Nevada, and parts of Colorado, today’s New Mexico, and Utah.

The Navajo quickly stole horses from the Spanish and became adept horsemen, conducting lightning fast raids on the Spanish settlements. This was a new skill for them since, at that time, horses had been extinct in the new world for millenia. The appearance of mounted humans was so startling that the Navajo recorded it in their rock art, as shown to the right.

The Spanish considered the Navajo and Apache to be a serious problem, particularly since they were nomadic and lived in small clans, unlike the peaceful Pueblo Peoples who lived in villages and were more easily monitored and controlled.

In between trying to forcibly convert the Navajo to Catholicism, and attempting to exterminate them, the Spanish conducted slave raids against the Navajo to obtain menial servants for their settlements and, more commonly, to be worked to death in Spanish mines. The Navajo retaliated by stealing horses and sheep, and by capturing Spanish women and children as slaves. Periodically one side or the other would conduct a massacre, with the Spanish doing most of the killing.

Slavery Among the Navajo

In addition to capturing the Spanish, the Navajo also captured Paiute and Pueblo Peoples to use as household slaves, farmers, and herders, or to be traded to the Spanish for horses. Since the Navajo considered weaving to be the birthright of a Navajo woman, slaves were never used for weaving, only for menial work.

Pueblo Revolt

The conflict between the Spanish and the Pueblo Peoples rapidly became more and more severe. The Spanish levied high taxes on the Peubleo peoples, forced them to work as menials or in the mines, suppressed their religions, and engaged in the usual rapes and massacres. Strangely enough, converts to Christianity, an important goal of the Spanish, were forced to pay additional taxes.

In 1680 the Pueblo Peoples, a peaceful people not known for violence, had finally had enough of Spanish oppression and allied with the Navajo to fight a war against the Spanish. This period is called the Pueblo Revolt. The Spanish churches, homes, and towns were destroyed, settlers were killed, and the survivors driven off to the south. The Spanish, typically, undertook brutally savage efforts to subdue the region and recolonize it.

The Spanish brutality finally became so bad that between 1680 and 1696 the Pueblo Peoples sought refuge among the Navajo and the Hopi. Surprisingly, the tall, slender, warlike Navajo welcomed the short, stout, peaceful Pueblo Peoples and the two lived together in harmony, intermarrying extensively and exchanging cultural ideas.

The intermingling of cultures led the Navajo to adopt many Pueblo beliefs, many of which were inherited from the Anasazi, into their own belief system. For example, the Pueblo Kachina became the Navajo Ye’i. The Navajo also adopted Sand Painting, rock painting, and weaving. The Hopi integrated similar beliefs into their religion.

Spanish Conquest Continues

Efforts by the Spanish, including a campaign to divide the united Pueblo Peoples into warring factions which could be conqured individually, finally began to succeed. The internicine sparring, coupled with a severe drought, resulted in the Spanish conquest being essentially completed by 1698, and a brief period of non-war ensued.

The Spanish continued to exploit and abuse the Navajo and Pueblo Peoples, however, and in 1702 the Navajo resumed raiding and the Spanish resumed their campaign of raw brutality. Spanish oppression increased until 1716 when the Navajo sought an end to the conflict. Once again, a brief period of non-war followed. Encroachment and brutality by the Spanish led to renewed raiding, which in turned caused even more retaliation.

Mexican Conquest

The territory eventually passed from Spain to the newly created Mexican government in 1821, but the pattern of treaties and the breaking of treaties — as well as the raids and retaliation for them — continued while the land was under Mexican rule.

Mexican-American War

Mexico repeatedly refused to sell New Mexico and California to the United States, so, in 1846, the United States attacked Mexico in order to seize the desired territory. After a short war, which really consisted of a few minor battles, Mexico was forced to cede what is now Arizona, Nevada, California, and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. At the time, New Mexico was an enormous territory; far larger than todays’ size of the state would suggest.

The southwest now began to be occupied by Americans, and the Navajo raided them, just as they had raided the Spanish and before them the Pueblo Peoples. These raids eventually led to a number of punitive missions by the United States Army, with little success until Kit Carson’s famous campaign.

Carson Subdues the Navajo

By the time the United States acquired the southwest, the Navajo were among the richest Native Americans. Their enormous livestock thefts had resulted in impressive herds which had been multiplied through adept animal husbandry. Complaints to the United States Government between 1847 and 1851 show that the Navajo had stolen: 453,293 sheep, 31,581 head of cattle, 12,887 mules, and 7,050 horses.

Spanish horses increased the Navajo’s reach, and the territory under their control was consequently greatly expanded. The Navajo must have expected to have no more difficulty handling the United States than they had with the Mexicans and the Spanish before them. Underestimating the United States was, however, a ver serious miscalculation.


General Stephen Watts Kearney

General Stephen Watts Kearney explained, in 1846, that the New Mexicans need no longer fear Navajo raids:

“The Apaches and the Navajos come down from the mountains and carry off your sheep and your women whenever they please. My government will correct all this. They will keep off the Indians, protect you in your persons and property.”

His words were true, but it took nearly twenty years for them to take effect.

Scorched earth policy authorized

The United States Government decided to begin a campaign to destroy the Navajo’s ability to prey on white Americans, Mexicans, and Native Americans. This campaign was scheduled to begin on July 1, 1863. The Commander of the Headquarters Department of New Mexico, Brigadier General James H. Carleton, and Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson were charged with destroying the Navajo’s strength using a scorched earth policy.


Christopher “Kit” Carson (circa 1890-1910)

Carson, a famous guide and “Mountain Man” was ordered to force the surrender of the Navajo by destroying their corn and other crops, killing or capturing their livestock, and burning their homes. Once the Navajo surrendered, they would be removed from the area. The Navajo were given nineteen days, until July 20, to peaceably surrender themselves and voluntarily travel to Fort Sumner in New Mexico. Any Navajo remaining after that date was to be killed or captured.

War commences — and ends — quickly.

Needless to say, the Navajo did not enthusiastically embrace surrender, so Carson began executing the planned campaign. He began carefully, burning corn, capturing horses and sheep, and advancing slowly and deliberately. Native American scouts tracked down every individual Navajo and every Navajo family. Carson was careful to avoid battle or other armed conflicts because he knew that winter was coming and that the weather would be his ally.

The winter snows came quickly enough, and the Navajo became desperate. Because Carson had destroyed their crops they had no food stores. They could not hunt because of the scouts and troops. They could not gather piñon (pine nuts). Neither could they light fires to keep warm, because the light attracted scouts and troops.

Early on in the campaign the Navajo had retreated into the canyons and conducted raids. On January 6, 1864, less than six months after the campaign had begun, Carson led approximately four hundred of his troops into the Canyon de Chelly. This was the last piece of territory of any consequence that was still held by the Navajo, and the Navajo considered it to be impregnable territory. Carson’s men destroyed two thousand peach trees, the bark of which the desperate Navajo had been reduced to eating.

Surrender of the Navajo

Faced with starvation of the young and the elderly, living in icy caves, constantly threatened with death or capture, the Navajo finally surrendered. (Some clans went into hiding and never surrendered.) Relatively few Navajo had been killed in combat with soldiers, but many — primarily the young, the old, and the infirm — had died from starvation and exposure.

“Long Walk” to Fort Sumner

Captivity at Fort Sumner

Fort Sumner was in the center of Bosque Redondo, a military outpost about forty square miles at the base of the Pecos River. (Approximately 180 miles southeast of Santa Fe.) The land had originally been occupied by the Mescalero Apache, and the 400 Mescalero imprisoned at Fort Sumner still regarded it as their domain and resented the Navajo prisoners.


Navajo at Bosque Redondo (circa 1864 – 1868)

The Navajo were set to work planting corn alongside the Mescalero. Never in their entire existence had the nomadic Navajo ever used hoes or irrigation ditches. Despite planting two thousand acres with corn and digging thirty miles of irrigation ditches, every single crop failed the first year. And the second year. And the third year.

In addition to crop failures, there was little wood for fires, the housing consisted of flimsy canvas and brush shelters which gave little shelter, and the region’s alkaline water sickened the Navajo.

During their four years of imprisonment the Navajo fared so poorly — because they had no experience with the peculiar diet of such things as wheat flour, salted fatback pork and coffee — that at one point the Fort Sumner soldiers were placed on half rations in order to feed the Navajo who were dying of starvation. At the end of their confinement, rations consisted of a pound of corn and beef per day per Navajo, along with a pinch of salt. This was probably the minimum required to prevent massive starvation.

Treaty with the United States

Congress finally decided that the Navajo would be moved from Fort Sumner to some worthless piece of land where they would not longer constitute a menace and where they would not require monies to maintain. Lieutenant General William Tecumseh Sherman — infamous for his brutal destruction of Georgia during his “March to the Sea” campaign of the American Civil War — and Colonel S. F. Tappan, Peace Commissioner, were to supervise the relocation.

A treaty was finally reached on June 11, 1868 whereby the Navajo received a reservation consisting of a portion of the lands they had occupied near the Four Corners area and in exchange agreed to cease their raids. The area selected was 5,500 square miles of sandy, wind-swept desert, where it often went twenty-five months between rains, and where waterholes were fifty miles apart.

At the time of the treaty this arid land was deemed “worthless” by the United States, years later it was found to be riddled with valuable mineral deposits. Along with this “worthless” land the Navajo were issued fourteen thousand sheep and one thousand goats — about two animals per person — along with the promise of a small allowance of seeds, farm implements, clothing, and schools. (These promises were never kept.)

The land was so inhospitable that the Navajo were expected to quietly become extinct without placing any additional burden on the United States. A week later the Navajo set out to their new home: 7,111 Navajo, consisting of 2,060 men, 2,693 women, 2,157 under 12 years old, and 201 age and sex unknown. They left on foot, with no wagons or horses, no cooking utensils, no tools, no guns, no clothing, and no matches.

Concerns of Hopi Regarding Navajo Return

The Hopi had been the Navajo’s enemies ever since the Athapaskans had first arrived in the area. The Hopi called the Navajo Tavasuh, which means “head-bangers” or “beaters”, and had no use for them. There are two versions of the role the Hopi played in the return of the Navajo, both of which illustrate the justifiable distrust the Hopi had for the Navajo.

Adopting New Ways


Navajo Woman in Traditional Dress (circa 1878)

After the treaty was signed, the Navajo adopted non-confrontational ways, returning to their farming and weaving, and adding the new skill of silversmithing.


Navajo Weaver Outside Her Hogan (circa 1885 – 1890)

Traders discovered there was a great demand for their blankets, and the Navajo were soon producing large quantities. Even today their weavings are famous and in great demand. Experiments in cast and hammered silver — the Navajo had greatly admired Spanish silverwork when they saw it for the first time — led to spectacular silver and turquoise jewelry which continues to be highly desirable. The “worthless” land of the Navajo reservation was found to contain rich deposits of oil, coal, and uranium.


Navajo Silversmith Stamping Conchos (circa 1904 – 1932)

Despite a mere 7,111 survivors of the Long Walk having returned to the barren desert alloted to them by the United States, the Navajo have prospered. Their numbers multiplied to the point that they are the largest remaining Native American tribe.

Land Disputes with the Hopi

As their wealth and power increased, the Navajo forgot their promises gven to the Hopi. Instead, they encroached on Hopi land and claimed it by right of occupancy, just as their Athapaskan ancestors did. The Hopi were still poor and few in number, so there was little they could do. A Hopi reservation of 3,863 square miles was finally established by President Chester A. Arthur’s Executive Order of 1882, but this was a fraction of the lands claimed by the Hopi.

By the 1950s the land problems had become so severe that the Hopi were ready to show the Navajo the two tiponi given to the Hopi by the Navajo as a sign of the Navajo’s honorable intentions. (How the sacred tiponi came to be in Hopi hands is an interesting story.)

Such an exhibition would obviously be an attempt to humiliate the Navajo, given the significance they associate with the Tiponi. (It is unclear, however, that the Navajo’s oppression of the Hope would cease simply based upon some slight shame. If they had any shame they wouldn’t have persecuted the Hopi so extensively.) The Hopi, who place great significance on waiting until the proper time to take action, finally decided that the time was not yet right. Instead, in the 1960’s the Hopi went to the courts to have the land that was rightfully theirs restored to them. The Navajo, naturally, objected strenuously.

This was the start of a protracted legal conflict between the Hopi and the Navajo, and the beginning of elaborate court battles which continue to this very day. The dispute is typically portrayed as a struggle between two native peoples which requires the assistance of a benevolent United States government to mediate. The truth is that these disputes resulted from the United States government’s wrongful partition of the land and assignment to the Navajo, and the core of the issue is actually mining revenue.

Lawsuit grounded in mining rights

The Navajo want the Big Mountain Diné region because the Peabody Corporation (a division of Kennecott Copper, which was since acquired by the British holding company Hanson) is strip-mining the 24 billion tons of valuable low-sulphur coal lying beneath land the size of Rhode Island. The Navajo do not, understandably, want this revenue stream disrupted.


Big Mountain Coal Slurry Transport

The name of the area is a misnomer; there is no “mountain”, nor is there a big one; just a slight rise in the land. Low sulphur coal produces less sulphur dioxide when burned, and thus less acid rain. Such coal therefore commands a greater price than ordinary coal. So far the coal slurry created by the Peabody Corporation — in order to transport the coal by pipeline to the Mohave power plant — has dropped the surrounding water table by 100 feet. This greatly concerns the Hopi who live nearby, since they share this water table and, unlike the Navajo, they cannot drink sand.

The Hopi, by way of contrast with the Navajo, do not allow their land to be mined or otherwise despoiled. They were forced to join the Navajo in signing a lease for the Big Mountain region to the Peabody Corporation in 1966, since the land had been designated as “joint use” by the United States government. The choice was to sign and receive royalties or not to sign and receive nothing. Mining would, in either case, have gone on without Hopi consent. The Hopi approach their land has clearly placed them in conflict with the multinational mining companies backing the Navajo.

The Hopi point to the poor treatment of the disputed land by the Navajo, saying that the line of demarcation between the Navajo side and the Hopi side is obvious because the Hopi side is still green while the Navajo side has been overgrazed by Navajo sheep into a desert.

This dispute is likely to continue for some time given the mineral revenues at state. The only clear winners to date are the large multinational corporations who have been strip mining the area for decades.

Current Status

The Navajo as a people have not fared particularly well since losing their armed conflict with the United States government. Despite being a “sovereign nation” on paper, the US government manages, either directly or by proxy, the Navajo’s land, money, and, for many years, educated their children. For a long time Navajo children were forcibly kidnapped — as was done with other Native American cultures — and educated in government run schools. This was intended to, and did, prevent them from receiving an education in the Navajo language and traditions, and thus destroy what remained of the Navajo culture. (The practice of kidnapping has since been stopped.)

The US government stripped the Navajo nation of their right to manage its own funds, requiring all moneys to be turned over to the US government for “safe keeping” and management. Navajo funds managed by the US government, including grossly undervalued royalty payments for mineral rights, were then either stolen or lost. (In 1999 the United States Secretary of the Interior was held in contempt of court and fined for deliberately obstructing the first audit ever of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).)

Because Navajo land contains valuable minerals, their reservation is now littered with toxic mine tailings and the vast scars left by strip mines. While the Navajo tribal leaders certainly consented to the rape of their land, the Navajo as a people have been ill-served by it. (Their neighbors, the Hopi fought against many of these mines as they border on Hopi territory.)


Navajo Uranium Miners (circa 1956)

The US government, acting through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) absolved the uranium mining and machining companies from the need to clean up their operations or protect people living in the area. Instead, the waste, a fine sand, was left out in the open to blow away during the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in contamination of the Four Corners area.

The air and water on the Navajo reservation have been fouled by coal fired electricity plants, notably not producing power for the Navajo, and this contributes to lung ailments. The air over the Grand Canyon is often hazy with sulfur dioxide and other pollutants from a dozen coal-fired power generation plants which export electricity to the southwest. These plants burn five million tons of coal a year — at a rate of ten tons of coal per minute — and spew 300 tons of fly-ash into the air each day. Coal mining and power generation draw 60 million gallons of water a year — nearly 7,000 gallons per hour — from the Black Mesa water table, resulting in desertification and sinking of the ground.


Map of Pollution from Coal Powerplants

Despite the vast mineral wealth that has enriched large multi-national corporations by billions of dollars, most reservation Navjo continue to live in poverty, suffering disease and illness at levels surpassing the inner city poor.

Code Talkers

During World War II the Navajo volunteered and served with great distinction. The famous “code talkers” used native languages as an unbreakable code during various wars. The Choctaw performed a similar service during World War I, but have received virtually no recognition and their efforts have essentially been forgotten. An initial number of Navajo Code Talkers were augmented with Comanche, Cherokee, Navajo, Papago, Pima, and other Native Americans.


WWII Navajo Code Talkers on Bouganville

In addition to using native languages which usually were not accessible to the enemy, non-standard dialects and new vocabularies were invented in order to make decipherment impossible even when a native speaker was captured.



The Navajo religion is quite complex, involving deities called Ye’i (pronounced “Yay”) which represent the spiritual essence of a wordly thing, and elaborate ceremonies replete with songs. The key element is Hózhó, the concept of balance and harmony.

The religious ceremonies are very expensive when done for the benefit of an individual. Not only must the shaman be well compensated for the ceremonies, but his entire entourage must be fed and housed for the duration. Since some ceremonies last many days, the costs can be so large that it was not unknown for a family to be bankrupted by them.


The idea behind Navajo religious rituals is that of a bargain: the petitioner has “given” some offering to the Ye’i and expects something in return. The Night Way, makes this bargain clear:

I have made the sacrifice for you;
I have prepared a smoke for you;

My feet restore for me.
My legs restore for me.
My body restore for me.
My mind restore for me.
My voice restore for me.


The Navajo believe the world to be an orderly place filled with interconnected objects all existing in a state of balance and harmony. The bedrock of the Navajo religion is the concept of Hózhó, which means a combination of existing in a state of balance, harmony, wellness, peace, and completeness. A sort of integrated oneness, with the universe running like an incredibly finely adjusted watch, with everything seamlessly working together. It is a complex concept that is remarkably similar to the Chinese Tao.

The simplified translation of “to walk in beauty” trivializes the complexity of Hózhó. For the Navajo, Hózhó is everything, and when it goes awry, the orderly universe is disrupted and must be restored to its natural order. The issue is not one of aesthetics, as beauty is, but a fundamental characteristic of existence.

Ways, Sings, or Chants

Navajo periodically have Ways, or , which are chanting ceremonies done for every possible purpose imaginable. These are also sometimes known as “sings” or as “chants”. Since there is so much more to these ceremonies than just singing or chanting, this page refers to them as “ways”.

Blessing Way

The Blessing Way, or Hózhó jí, is used as a general blessing ceremony to restore Hózhó, and ensures the recipient will have good luck, health, and prosperity. Religious uses include undoing mistakes made in other chants or in sand paintings, or when making prayer sticks.

The Blessing Way is the most important of the Ways, and, according to Navajo mythology, is the first Way given to the Navajo by Changing Woman. It goes as follows:

Hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shitsiji’ hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shikéédéé’ hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo
T’áá altso shinaagó hózhóogo naasháa doo

Házhó náhásdlíí
Házhó náhásdlíí
Házhó náhásdlíí
Házhó náhásdlíí

which can be rather loosely rendered as:

In oneness
   I walk.
With oneness before me
   I walk.
With oneness behind me
   I walk.
With oneness above me
   I walk.
With oneness below me
   I walk.
With oneness all around me
   I walk.
With oneness within me
   I walk.

It is finished
   with oneness restored.
It is finished
   with oneness restored.
It is finished
   with oneness restored.
It is finished
   with oneness restored.

Enemy Way

The Enemy Way, or ‘Anaa’ jí, is used to expunge chindi or evil spirits which plague a person. These are most commonly the result of violence, such as warriors who are plagued by the spirits of those they killed, but can also arise from failure to follow the Navajo rituals concerning ordinary death. For example, the Navajo never mention the name of someone who has died, for fear that the evil components of his spirit will haunt them. (The good components of his spirit having already moved on.) The Enemy Way originated with the great hero Monster Slayer who was troubled by the spirits of all the monsters he killed.

After the subjugation of the Navajo by Kit Carson’s famous campaign, and before the Navajo began serving in World War I and subsequent wars, the Enemy Way fell into disuse for a while. But the Navajo soon decided that the Enemy Way would remove danger from those who had contact with whites. This included children sent to boarding school and those who worked with for various non-Navajo businesses.

Interestingly enough, the Enemy Way is the only chant which does not use a sand painting.

Night Way

The Night Way, or Ye’i bichai, is a lengthy, eight day curative ritual. The name combines Ye’i with bi, the word for “his” and tchai or tsai meaning “maternal grandfather”. The meaning is therefore “grandfather of the terrible, but benevolent, ones”, or, more succinctly “grandfather of the deities”. This is another name for Talking Ye’i, who is believed to lead the other Ye’i to the aid of a suffering mortal. This way is commonly called the Night Chant because one of its major components, the Dance of the Masked Gods, is held at night.

The Night Way consists of four days of cleansing and inviting the deities, four days during which the deities arrive, and a final night when the cure takes place. Ritual cleansing uses a sweat lodge for sweating and herbal brew to induce vomiting. There are various food taboos both during and for sometime after the ceremony.


Navajo Sweat House (circa 1907 – 1920)

During the other rituals a fire is built in the hogan, and the patient, nearly naked, leans over it while wrapped in a blanket. For the final night both the patient and the chanter remain awake until dawn, since the curative power of the sand painting increases when the morning sun flows into it from the east. For the next four days the patient must sleep in the ceremonial hogan, and must not go to sleep before sundown.

The Night Chant is a very serious chant, and the Navajo believe that any mistakes — either by the patient or by a shaman’s student — cause blindness, warping, crippling, facial paralysis, and deafness. These illnesses come about because the Night Chant is believed to cure them, and so any mistakes cause the illnesss instead of curing it.

Mountain Way

The Mountain Way is a healing ritual that takes its name from the home of the Ye’i that it invokes. This way, like the Night Way, is performed only in the winter.

The Mountain Way concludes with paid performers engaging in such acts as fire handling, sword swallowing, and plants that magically grow in a few minutes. This exhibition reproduces powers related in myths, and thus summons the bearers of those powers.

The number of “miracles” is limited only by the wealth of the patient; the more money he has the more power that will be summoned. A truly wealthy man could afford to have a dozen or more dancers covered in white clay perform the Fire Dance, whirling torches around themselves and each other.

Shooting Way

The Shooting Way is used to relieve injuries caused by arrows, lightning, and snakes. The name comes from the nature of arrows, lightning, and snakes. Since these entities caused the illness they must, of necessity, be its cure. This way is also used for indeterminate illnesses, just as the Bead Way is.

Bead Way

The Bead Way is used to relieve skin ailments. The name comes from a legend where a boy called Scavenger acquired the treasures of the Spider People. Among these treasures were the stones held precious to the Navajo: abalone, jet, redstone, turquoise, and whiteshell. Collectively these stones are called “whiteshell”.

Scavenger acquired these treasures because the Spider People wanted him to throw young eagles out of their nest and lowered him down a cliff to do this. But Scavenger had been warned by Talking Ye’i that the men, who had never treated Scavenger well, planned to leave him in the nest to die once he had thrown out the eagles. Talking Ye’i told him to stay in the nest and that the birds would protect him.

Scavenger stayed in the nest and the Spider People at first tried to bribe him with precious stones, then with bucksins, food, and baskets, each of which were thrown into the nest. When these tactics failed, the Spider People made torches from cedar bark, tied them to arrows, and set them aflame. They then shot the nest setting it afire.

But Scavenger and the young eagles retreated to the rocky ledge and escaped harm. When the parent eagles returned they were angry and dropped the shed moulting feathers of the young birds onto the Spider People below. Wherever the feathers hit the skin, the effect was like that of a fire ant sting, and the Spider People all ran away. The skin irritation developed into sores as punishment for the suffering that the Spider People had inflicted on Scavenger and the young eagles. (Scavenger survived intact and had more adventures.)

The Navajo believe that like cures like, so the ritual associated with the skin sores inflicted on the Spider People will cure any skin ailments. This way is also used for indeterminate illnesses, just as the Bead Way is.

Other Ways

There are many, many, many other chants. The War Dance dispels foreign enemies. The Rite of Good Men was used before a war or a raid, but has not been used much since the United States Government forced the Navajo to end raiding and war. The Way for Dispelling the Darts of the Male Powers of Evil deals with rattlesnakes, lightning, and other dangerous things. The Awl Way was used when a moccasin was made.

A Corral Rite was used to bring success in corralling deer and antelope; the introduction of rifles have eliminated much of the need for this chant. (The term “corralling” refers to the practice of constructing a fenced in area with an opening on one side and then driving the animals into it.)

A similar chant is the Way for the Trapping of Eagles, which aids in overcoming the magical powers of eagles enough to allow one to be captured.

The winds are kept under control using the Wind Way,

The Moving Upward Way, deals with the origin of things in the lower worlds and their emergence upwards, and is useful for dealing with witches. The Rite for Dispelling Monsters vanquishes native enemies and witches.

These are just a few of the numerous Navajo chants.

Ceremonial House (Hogan)

The Navajo name for a house is hogan. This initially was a dwelling constructed out of poles and mud in about a day. Constructing such a hogan specifically for a ceremony and then demolishing it was not especially burdensome. As the Navajo adopted octagonal hogans made from logs, however, it was impractical, in both time and materials, to destroy the hogan after the ceremony. The solution was to purify the hogan with a Blessing Way after the ceremony. Modern Navajo often share a ceremonial log hogan.

The logs must come from trees that have not been struck by lightning and the site must be one where lighting does not strike. The reason for this is that the Navajo consider lightning to be very dangerous, and scrupulously avoid all contact with it.


Ye’i (pronounced “Yay”) are the Navajo deities. (These pages will use the term “Ye’i” in place of “god” since the two are not strictly equivalent and some Navajo are annoyed by the comparison.)

The name Ye’i comes from the Zuni word for “spirit” and means “terrible, but benevolent, one”. Ye’i are also known as Xasce, or Hasche, which means “powerful one who is speechless”. The Ye’i are the Navajo equivalent of the Pueblo People’s Kachina and are intermediaries between the spirit world and humans, and work to promote prosperity. The Ye’i clearly have roots in the kachina, which began showing up in Pueblo People’s rock art in the 1300s, clearly predating the arrival of the Navajo. (While the Navajo never use Kachina dolls, modern Navajo often sell Kachina dolls to tourists. This irritates the Hopi greatly.)

Ye’i are prominent in sand paintings. Male Ye’i usually have round heads — sometimes with horns, masks, pointed caps, or other head-dresses — straight bodies, and wear kilt like garments. The headgear is sometimes feathered. The bodies are often adorned with necklaces or criss-cross patterns. Female Ye’i usually have square heads. (The Corn Maiden shown on the Navajo Art page is one such Ye’i.) Ye’i of either sex may have tassles dangling from their arms or clothes, and may carry wands, staffs, corn, or religious artifacts.

Fourteen different Ye’i

There are fourteen different Ye’i:

  • Talking Ye’i, Xasce lti’i
  • Calling Ye’i, Xasce oyan
  • The six Male Ye’i, Xasce bakan, each with a drooping rain collar
  • The six Female Ye’i, Xasce bakan, each with a dawn band and ear flaps
  • Black Ye’i, Haskéshjini or Xasce shchini,
  • Monster Slayer, Nayenezgani or Naye nezyani
  • Born-For-Water, To’baadsistini or To’baachis’chini.
  • Water Sprinkler, To’neinili, also known as Gray Ye’i, ibáhi.
  • Humpbacked Ye’i, Ghaan’ask’idii or Ya’askidi
  • Fringed Mouth Ye’i , Zahadolchahi
  • Red Ye’i, Xasce hlichi
  • The Destroyer, Hadachishi
  • Whistling Ye’i, Xasce ‘iditchonsi
  • Shooting Ye’i, Xasce ‘ohltohi

Talking Ye’i

Talking Ye’i, Xasce lti’i is also known as the Grandfather of the Ye’i. He is paired with Calling Ye’i. He is specified as the leader of the Ye’i in the Night Way. Talking Ye’i controls the dawn, the east, and the chase. (The dawn and the east have particular importance to the Navajo, and a sand painting always has an opening at the east to allow the healing power of dawn in.)

Much of the importance of Talking Ye’i in legends and ceremonies derives from the value of his counsel. Whenever a hero reaches an impasse, Talking Ye’i appears and offers a valuable suggestion. His cry is “whu whu, whu whu, whu whu, whu whu!”.

Calling Ye’i

Calling Ye’i, Xasce oyan, is paired with Talking Ye’i, but is by far the less important of the two. He is in charge of agriculture, the west, and the yellow evening light. His cry is “hahowa, hahowa, hahowa, hahowa!”.

Water Sprinkler

Water Sprinkler, To’neinili, is also known as Gray Ye’i, ibáhi. Water Sprinkler has control over water from the sky and is the water carrier for the Ye’i. This Ye’i is paired with Black Ye’i. Once Black Ye’i has made a fire with lightning sparks from his firedrill, Water Sprinkler extinguishes it with rain. His cry is “yuh, yuh, yuh, yuh!”.

Black Ye’i


Black Ye’i, Haskéshjini or Xasce shchini, is the fire deity and creator of the constellations. He is the inventor of fire and the firedrill which summons it. A sacred firedrill is part of a shaman’s medicine bundle and is used to start the fires to induce sweating in healing rituals, such as the Night Way.

When Black Ye’i separated the Earth from the sky he kept the The Pleiades, or Dilyéhé, a cluster of seven stars, on his ankle. But every time he stamped his foot, the stars would fly up and hit him on the left side of his forehead. Eventually he decided that they should remain there and stamped his foot four times to make their position permanent. The seven dots on the forehead of the Black Ye’i can be seen in the sculpture above.

Fringed Mouth Ye’i

Relatively little is known about the Fringed Mouth Ye’i, or Zahadolchahi. He appears in the Bead Way, which is used to relieve skin problems, and assists the other Ye’i. The Fringed Mouth Ye’i is also known to give aid to those in dire need.

Humpbacked Ye’i


The Humpbacked Ye’i, Ghaan’ask’idii or Ya’askidi, is likely derived from the Anasazi Kokopelli. He is similar to the Fringed Mouth Ye’i of the Night Way which has a divided mask of half red and half yellow. The Hopi Mountain Sheep Kachina, or Panwu Kachina, is also similar.

The Humpbacked Ye’i is a fertility deity, like Kokopelli, and the hump is actually a satchel containing seeds and mist, often decorated with eagle feathers on the outside. These Ye’i wear sheep horns, which symbolize power, and carry staffs or planting sticks. (A planting stick is used to make a hole into which a seed, such as corn or squash, is dropped.)

The Fringe Mouth Ye’i of the Night Way is a variant of the Humpbacked Ye’i and is found in sand paintings. A female variant found in sand paintings is The Female Ye’i of the Night Way which is depicted with ears and a raised nose.


The Navajo considered stars to be very important, and painted star panels on the ceilings of caves and overhangs and incorporated them into their sand paintings. It was not until the Navajo returned from their exile in Fort Sumner in 1868, however, that a serious interest in cosmology developed among the Navajo. Navajo cosmology has thirty-seven constellations, some of which are similar to western culture constellations, but many are unique to the Navajo.

Constellations matching commonly accepted ones

Constellations and Stars Constellations that are similar or exact are:

  • náhookos bikhá’i (Big Dipper)
  • náhookos ba’áádi (Cassiopeia)
  • hastiin skai and Dilyéhé (The Pleides)
  • so’ hotsii (Aldebaran)
  • atsétso (a star in Scorpio)
  • atseéts’ósi (a star in Orion)
  • Yikáísdáhi (the Milky Way)

Unique constellations

Unique constellations include:

  • sash (the bear)
  • ‘anlt’ánii (the corn beetle)
  • thishtso (the horned rattlesnake)
  • dasani (the porcupine)

Specific Stars Recognized

The Navajo recognize a few specific stars:

  • so’tso lizhin (the Big Black Star)
  • so’tso litso (the Big Yellow Star)
  • so’tso tigai (the Big White Star)
  • so’tso deshjah (the Pronged Star)


The Pleides are important to the Navajo because of their role as a clock. The appearance of the Pleides in the eastern sky meant that the frosts would occur soon. The Pleides are so important to the Navajo that Black Ye’i wears them on his shoulder.

Using the Pleides as a celestial clock was known to other peoples. The western name for the star group, Pleides, is derived from the Greek word plein, meaning “to sail”, since the Greeks considered the sailing season to be safe once the constellation rose and dangerous when it fell.

A Navajo myth says that the Pleides and Orion had twin daughters Sa’a Naghaí (Old Age That Goes About) and Bik’e Hózhó (On the Trail of Hózhó).

Star Ceilings


Starting in the 1700s, the Navajo began creating star ceilings and also incorporated star symbols into their sand paintings. These are small, equilinear crosses (like a plus sign and not a Christian cross) drawn, painted, or stamped onto ceilings and the undersides of rock overhangs. The crosses sometimes have a tapered point.

Stars are considered to be protective, and the act of painting stars on a ceiling or overhang may have been though to keep the rock ceiling from falling, just as the real stars hold the sky up.

These sites are considered special places, and the Navajo do not like to discuss them. Shaman still leave prayer sticks and other offerings near these panels in order to assist their patients.

The sculpture of the horned Ye’i above and to the right has a constellation on the right side of the face. The cross represents a star, possibly a supernova.

Stars motifs are also important for various rituals, and appear on ceremonial rattles and dance paddles.


A site in Cuba, New Mexico, has an elaborate planetarium, with stars represented as crosses, asterisks, flying birds, dragonflies, as well as circles, animals, eagle-like birds, and horsemen with lances. The animals may represent constellations or mythological scenes. Not only is the subject matter complex, but the details are rendered in black, white, gray, and red. This level of detail is, however, unusual.


The size of a star on a ceiling seems to correspond to its brightness in the sky. Matching stars to constellations is difficult for non-Navajo, however, because the Navajo use different constellations and because the constellations themselves vary according to individual interpretation. Some of the ceilings also have stars so closely packed, likely from repeated paintings over time, that there often is no way to delineate the constellations.

Importance of Color

The four principal colors, or ‘atah’áá t’eego nidaashch’ígíí, are very important in the many rituals, including sand paintings and prayer sticks. The white cotton string used in rituals represents Hózhó, the unity and harmony of the Navajo with the world.

Embodiment of Direction or Time

Each color represents a direction, and often a time:

  • Blue, or doot’izh, representing the Mid-day Sun and the South, since the cloudless south is usually blue
  • Black, or izhin, representing the Night, the Sky, and the North, since dark, black clouds come from the north
  • White , or igai, representing the Dawn and the East, since the white light of morning is first seen in the east
  • Yellow, or itso, representing the Evening and the West, since the sunset in the west is often yellow

Four Sacred Mountains

Colors symbolize the four sacred mountains, with color being linked to the mountain’s location:

  • North — Mt. Hesperus, or Dibe’ntsaaa, (West of Durango, Colorado) is symbolized using black
  • South — Mt. Taylor, or Tsoodzil, (Near Grants, New Mexico) is symbolized using blue
  • East — Mt. Blanca, or Tsisnaajini’, (East of Alamosa, Colorado) is symbolized using white
  • West — San Francisco Peaks, or Doko’oosliid, (Near Flagstaff, Arizona) is symbolized using yellow

Sexual Symbolism

Color also has sexual symbolism. Navajo myths say that females were created from yellow corn and males from white corn, and this symbolism is used in sand paintings.

Horse Colors

The Navajo also believe that the first horses, or lin, were made from minerals and shells of various colors, and refer to them based upon their color:

  • iron-gray horse, or dolizi lin — made from turquoise
  • sorrel horse, or bastai lin — made from red stone, possibly carnelian
  • white horse — made from white shell
  • piebald horse, or yolkai lin — made from haliotis shell, which is spotted
  • black horse, or baszini lin, made from charcoal

Prayer Sticks

Prayer sticks also rely on the importance of color, and are made from different wood depending upon the direction they are to be placed and the associated sexual symbolism. The woods used for prayer sticks are their associated directions are:

  • North — uses cherry, because the fruit of the common wild cherry, Prunus demissa, ripens to black, the color of the North.
  • South — uses the coyote corn shrub, Forestiera neomexicana because its small, olive shaped fruit is blue, the color of the South.
  • East — uses mountain mahogeny, Cercocarpus parvifolius because it has a white aspect, and white is the color of the East.
  • West — uses juniper, because its outer branchlets are, when water is scarce, a yellow green, and yellow is the color of the West.

Another type of prayer stick is made by filling a two inch length of hollow reed with pollen, bird down, and tiny fragments of stone. These are then wrapped together, usually with feathers, and symbolically “lit” with a piece of crystal.

Sexual Symbolism

The Navajo also name things based on whether the thing has male or female characteristics. When there are two things that are essentially alike, the Navajo label the stronger, more violent, or coarser one as being “male” and label the gentler, weaker, or finer one as “female”. The San Juan River is quite turbulent and is called he-water, or To’baka. The slower, calmer Rio Grande is called she-water, or To’baad. A gentle rain with no thunder or lighting, for example, is called “she-rain”, or ni’ltsabaad. A hard rain with thunder and lighting is called “he-rain”, or ni’ltsabaka.

The Navajo also categorize objects according to sexual stereotypes. The north, a rough, mountainous, and unforgiving land from whence the hard rains and violent winds come, is considered to be male, so its associated color, black, is also male. The south, a more pleasant region from whence warm and gentle breezes originate, is seen as female.

Shaman’s Medicine Bundle

The medicine_bundle, or jish, is used in various rituals. The contents are acquired at various points inside Dinetah, that is, inside the area of land held to be given to the Navajo by the Ye’i (deities) and considered to be sacred by them. The medicine bundle contains crushed plants, pollens, and pieces of sacred stone.

Building a medicine bundle and the buckskin bag to store it in usually takes about three years. The bag itself must come from a deer killed without a wound, which entailed capturing a deer using a rope, placing a handful of pollen in its mouth, and then holding the mouth and nose tightly until the deer suffocated. The deer would then be butchered in the normal fashion and a portion of the hide carefully saved and tanned. Using a rope to capture a deer was quite difficult, and the bag was particularly valued for this reason.

The bag’s contents took a good deal of time to acquire because each of the sacred mountains had to be visited. Undertaking a journey to even one of the mountains required a good deal of preparation, not to mention travel time, so visiting all four was an especially arduous task.

Sand Paintings


A sand painting consists of various patterns drawn using colored sand. These patterns can be figures representing various Ye’i, or they can be plants or other objects. Some sand paintings can be ten to twelve feet in diameter, while others can be as little as four feet. This is in direct contrast to the kiva painting, which is usually quite small. The shape may be round, oblong, or square. The larger sand paintings often require that the fire in the center of the lodge be moved to accommodate them.


Navajo Working on Sand Painting (circa 1890 – 1920)

Significance of Sand Paintings

Sand Paintings are a key component of many Ways, and are similar to, and likely derived from, the Pueblo Kiva painting. The Navajo name for the sand painting is ‘iikáá, meaning “the place where the Ye’i come and then go”. The reason for the “going” is that the sand painting is destroyed after it is used.

The Navajo believe that sand painting was given to them by the Ye’i. Unlike the Navajo, the Ye’i did not draw using sand. Instead, they had a flat sheet of some substance called nesha, which may have been cotton, upon which the designs were drawn. This sheet was unfolded whenever the images power was needed. Fearing misuse or destruction of the image, with dire consequences to the Navajo, the Ye’i told a shaman known as the Visionary, or Bitahatini, that the drawings could be painted upon the ground using the colors of the earth.

Sand Painting Evolution


The first sand paintings were made in the early 1700s, and by the end of the 1800s the style had essentially become standardized. There is, in fact, very little difference between a sand painting made today and one done in the late 1800s.

Figures were abstracted towards a geometric form with great angularity, unlike the rock art. Deities were stretched vertically and stylized to emphasize that their supernatural power and existence were divorced from normal human affairs. The sculpture to the left is a corn maiden. (The original appears in colors, but this one is one of Ancestral Art’s sculptures in metal. This sculpture has also been slightly modified from the original sand painting.) Note the stretched body and the angularity that is not seen in Navajo rock art. The rectangular head indicates that this Ye’i is female.

Some patterns require precise dimensions, some must be in certain proportions to other patterns, others must be aligned in certain ways, and others must be made using certain colors, If these dimensions, proportions, and colors are not maintained, the sand painting will not be effective or may have unintended results.


A sand painting is always placed such that the top is at the east, notably where the sun rises, and has guardians at the other three points of the compass. The eastward facing top allows the goodness and strength to enter the sand painting while the three guardians prevent evil from entering the sand painting on those sides. The guardian can take many forms, but is commonly a rainbow, a bear, or a fly.

Rainbow Symbolism

A common guardian is the rainbow, which has has two different meanings. Rainbows are sometimes the trails of the Ye’i and sometimes they are the Ye’i themselves. A trail is represented using five lines of color: lines of red and blue are separated by a line of white and surrounded on either side by a line of white.

The Navajo consider the rainbow to have five colors; thus, when the rainbow represents the Ye’i it is considered to represent five female rainbow deities. These appear along with the rainbow itself. The Ye’i are depicted wrapped around the core of the sand painting, with a head at one end and the feet at the other, and with an opening at the east. The heads are square to show that the figure is female. The rainbow itself is represented in red and blue, the colors of sunshine and gentle water.

In sweat lodge decorations the five rainbow Ye’i do not appear, and instead are symbolized by placing a head at either end of the rainbow. This shows that each band represents a separate Ye’i.

A Navajo never points at a rainbow with a finger, since this is unlucky, and uses the thumb instead.

Star Symbolism

Stars and star fields are often represented in sand paintings, both individually and as constellations. Similar representations are made on Star Ceilings.

Sand Painting Power

The sand painting is believed to work because it is so symmetrical and orderly, and its creation focuses the body’s energy on balance, symmetry, and order.

Whenever a sand painting is created for non-religious reasons — such as for instruction or for artistic purposes — the Navajo always leave out or alter an element to ensure that the sand painting has no power. The alteration can be a simple as changing a color, or it may be that a figure is modified in some way. Sand paintings, suitably modified, are often reproduced as weavings, but there are those among the Navajo who frown upon what they see as a trivialization of an important rite.

Colors in a Sand Painting

The four principal colors are very important to the sand painting ritual, since each color symbolizes a different direction and thus different powers. Rain is represented using eight vertical black lines. Black symbolizes the north, from whence the rain clouds come. Color combinations also have significance. Red on black, for example, symbolizes sunlight on the back of a cloud, with red symbolizing the sun and black the rainclouds which come from the north. A yellow line crossed by black lines symbolizes rain and the evening sky.

The term sand is really a misnomer; the sand is actually finely crushed stone, or stone and charcoal, with the colors being derived as follows:

  • black is obtained from charcoal mixed with a small amount of powdered red sandstone to give it weight and stability
  • blue is obtained from black and white mixed, and is actually gray
  • white is obtained from white sandstone
  • yellow is obtained from yellow sandstone

While the “blue” is actually gray, it appears blue when seen against the sand painting’s white sand base in shadow or by firelight. Turqouise is blue, but it is too precious for use for sand paintings.

Creating a Sand Painting

The sand painting is usually made upon a fine sand base, called a séí, laid one to three inches deep, upon which the four colors will be set down. The base is smoothed using the same oaken battens that are used in weaving. The colored sand used to make the patterns is kept on trays of pine bark.

The patterns are created by the changer and his assistants who trickle the sand from between the thumb and forefinger. Careful measurements, and straight lines, are made using pieces of twine to ensure that all patterns are of the proper sizes and orientation.

A sand painting is constructed from the center out, so that new patterns do not disrupt those already laid down. Patterns are laid down in directional order, with east being first, then south, then west, and north last. The body is laid down first on top of the base, and then colored sand is layered on top of the body to create clothing and features. The order is from feet to head, since the sand painting will have power only if the movement goes upward. Deities wear the traditional Pueblo costume of sash and kilt, but often hold weapons, branches, or other symbols, and may have a crown of clouds or birds.

Mistakes are fixed by performing a Blessing Way — to restore balance — and then covering the mistake with clean sand of the same type as in the base.

Activating the Sand Painting

When the sand painting is finished it is an empty vessel that must be filled with power. This is done when the shaman sprinkles it with pollen and places special objects from his medicine bundle around it. The sand painting is now ready to be used in the final part of the healing ritual.

The patient is bathed, dried with cornmeal, and painted with symbols representing the Ye’i. A lump of turquoise is tied in the patient’s hair to represent the indestructible inner man. Sand from different parts of the sand painting are pressed against the patient, with the location of the ailment receiving most of the sand. The Navajo believe that the contact with the sand makes the patient one with the Ye’i and allows him to share in their power.

Disposing of the Sand Painting

Upon completion of the ceremony, the sand — which is believed to still retain power — is carefully swept up and discarded according to rituals lest evil happen to the shaman or to the patient. This is in contrast to the Tibetan Buhdists who simply sweep up their sand paintings and dispose of the sand as worthless, in keeping with their view of the fleeting and immaterial nature of the physical universe. The disposal contrasts with the semi-permanent kiva painting done by the Hopi.

Hero Twins or War Twins

Prominent in Navajo mythology are the Hero Twins or War Twins. The elder twin is Monster Slayer, Nayenezgani or Naye nezyani. The younger twin is Child-of-Water, To’baadsistini or To’baachis’chini. Child-of-Water is sometimes translated as Born-for-Water.

The To’baad component of the name means she-water, which is a gentle river or rain, as opposed to the violent, turbulent rivers and rain known as he-water, or To’baka. The translation as Born-for-Water has significance, since each Navajo child is “born to”  the clan of his father and is “born for”  the clan of his mother. Of the twins, Monster Slayer is always the more important.

Monster Slayer is represented by a bow, the weapon he used to slay the monsters in various myths. He is, in fact, sometimes known as “Bow-whose-string-extends-on-one-side”. Monster Slayer can also be represented by a fluffy head feather, rendered using red ochre in pictographs, or by zig-zag lightning.

Child-of-Water is represented using an hourglass shaped element, likely indicating the scalping that Child-of-Water performs after Monster Slayer has killed the monsters with his bow. (Historical revisionism to the contrary, the native peoples practiced scalping long before the Europeans encouraged it by paying a bounty.) The Pueblo tied scalps to rain and fertility and the Navajo adopted this belief. The hourglass sometimes stands alone in rock art, and sometimes it appears on the face or body. In pictographs the hourglass appears in red ochre.

During rituals, the Child-of-Water impersonator is painted with an hourglass in white, a color that appears to have been adopted from the Pueblo culture’s habit of decorating warriors with white paint. Both twins are sometimes represented by zig-zag lighting and by paired shields.

After the twins slew all the monsters, they went to the junction of the San Juan and Los Piños rivers. This location has shield petroglyphs representing the twins. (One of the paired shield pictographs at Todosio Canyon, along with Ye’i and other rock art including a star ceiling, was destroyed by Navajo Lake in 1963 when Navajo Dam was completed.)

Fetishes or Tiponi

The Navajo have two supremely important and very sacred fetishes, each called tiponi. The word tiponi means “Child of Importance”. There is one male figure and one female figure, both of which are wrapped in bucksin.

The male is about four inches wide and eighteen inches long. It consists of a feather and a cotton cord. Tied to the cotton cord are eagle feathers, the ends of which are tightly wrapped with cotton cord to about four inches from the end. In the center of the cord was a tail plume, the longest of the feathers.

This tiponi represents the life of all animals, and thus the life of all animals that the nomadic Navajo depended on for food. If this tiponi was damaged or destroyed the Navajo believed that the animals would die and the Navajo would perish. This tiponi therefore represents the food of the Navajo.

The female is also about four inches wide and eighteen inches long. This tiponi consists of an ear of yellow corn so old that it has turned white. Similar to the male, a long eagle feather is attached to the corn and is surrounded with smaller eagle feathers. Each is wrapped with cotton cord. Even more important then the male, this tiponi is called “Grandmother” and symbolizes the germination of all life, including that of the Navajos. The Navajo believe that damage or destruction of this tiponi would result in the death of the entire Navajo tribe.

Both of these fetishes passed into the hands of the Hopi in order to secure the Navajo’s adherence to their pledge to respect Hopi lands and property after the Navajo returned to the Four Corners Four Corners area. They have remained under Hopi control for over one hundred and thirty years.

Rock Art Sites

Rock Art Sites

Navajo rock art is usually naturalistic and typical subjects are horses, often with riders, deer, antelope, and cattle. There are also representations of Navajo deities called Ye’i.

The Navajo often used charcoal for pictographs, a practice that continues into modern times. These pictographs are fragile and usually do not survive well. Sometimes charcoal is used in combination with paint, and the paint portion survives better than the charcoal portion. Not all pictographs are made as part of rituals; charcoal drawings are often made by sheep herders, usually children, trying to dispel the intense boredom and pass the time.

The Navajo placed many of their ceremonial images on top of older Anasazi images. This could have been done to borrow the “power”  of the Anasazi image or it could simply have been done as a sort of signpost to indicate that area was now under Navajo control




The Navajo Reservation

The Navajo Reservation is also the largest Indian reservation in the United States, covering a total of 17.5 million acres and stretches across northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona, and southeast Utah. From low, dry desert elevations to mountainous regions, Navajo land is larger than some states.


Modern theory describes the Navajo people as semi-nomadic, having ventured throughout the Southwest before settling in their present location. Navajo belief is that The People emerged into the world, the fourth world, to escape a flood in the lower world.

The Place of Emergence is located in northwest New Mexico, in an area known as Dinetah. This area still carries religious, traditional and cultural significance for the Navajo people. The boundary of the Navajo Nation today roughly follows the traditional boundary set by the Four Sacred Mountains.

The early Navajo people subsisted on herds of sheep and planted large fields of corn. They quickly adapted to the use of horses and other livestock introduced into the region by the Spanish. In the years around 1860, tensions between the Navajo people and non-Indian ranchers and the US Army increased.

In 1864, after a series of skirmishes and battles, a large portion of the Navajo population was forced away from their beloved homelands to the Bosque Redondo, an experimental reservation about 400 miles away on the plains of eastern New Mexico.


The people, under the eye of US Army guards, were forced to march the entire distance. Thousands died along the way, during the four years the people spent at the Bosque Redondo, and during the walk home in 1868.

This episode of tragedy and human survival is known as “The Long Walk.” The leaders of the different clans of the Navajo people signed the Treaty of 1868 at the Bosque Redondo with the United States. The treaty set aside a reservation — a fraction of the Navajo’s original homeland — and in exchange for peace, the US Government promised to provide basic services to the Navajo people

Authentic Navajo Indian Dreamcatchers

We offer a large collection of dreamcatchers of various types and sizes. These beautiful authentic dreamcatchers are handcrafted by the Navajo Indians on the Navajo reservation. The nature of the dream catchers is that will attract all dreams to its webs as they float by. The night air is filled with good and bad dreams. Good dreams, because they’re pure and intuitive, easily navigate through the center hole small center hole in the dream catchers and slip through. Then they slide down the feather and enter the sleeping dreamer. Bad dreams are malicious in intent get tangled in the webbing of the dreamcatcher and perish with the first light of a new day. On the wall above your bed or fireplace, the dream catchers will evoke good feelings and last a lifetime


The Dream Catcher legend……..

Many years ago, grandmother found a spider in her home. It was building a web above her bed, and she spent many days watching it work and marveled at its beauty. One day, as the web was nearing completion, her grandson came to visit and he saw the spider and immediately went to kill it. Grandmother stopped him, and said that the spider had been there for several days, working hard on the web. It had not bothered her, and she had enjoyed watching it. The spider thanked Grandmother for saving its life and told her that in return for her kindness, it would give her a gift. The spider said that the web above her bed would make sure she only had good dreams – the bad dreams would get caught in the web, and would burn up when the sun rose. Only the good and important dreams would pass through this dreamcatcher

the end @ Copyright 2912

The American Indian and aborigin History Collections part One”Canadian Muskwa and Inuit”



The American Indian and Aborigin  

 History Collections

Part One

Aboriginal Canada

Muskwa And Inuit


Created by

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

Private limited E-BOOK in CD-ROM Edition

Special for Premium Member Collectors




I have collected the archived of history collections from 1955 , starting during young boy until now, Some of the collections have upload in my web blog




Almost 400.000 collectors visit this web blog

I have million informations of rare old archives now, and if the scientist ,journalist or collectors want to have the rare archives’s informations and illustrations please contact me via comment, but before you must subscribed via comment to be my blog premium member.

I hope my bigger project to collect the Informations from rare old archives will help everybody from all over the world.

I have met the the archives scholar from KTLV(Koninjkijl Tropen Leiden Vereneging) ,the Dutch archived of tropic area at Leiden Netherland who came to Indonesia to seeking the rare old archives,many Indonesian scholar visit KTLV to found 8informations related with their thesis because KTLV and also their Netherland tropen museum archives collectiosn cann’t copy because the protect with copyright.

I will show the Canada   Indian  and aborigin Archive History Collections, also

 their modern art 

and  hope everybody will happy to read the info and look the illustrations  



Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

American Indian and Aborigin

Indians, & Canadian Aboriginals



Communaute Autochtone Muskwa is a Historical 1st Nations / Self Governing Aboriginal Community with a ritch History dating back to the times of Port Royal in the Early 1600’s

Our Family are All Aboriginals & Muskwa’s Members”

What people & the public need to be aware of & understand clearly is that when


new members join Muskwa, they are not just recieving a “membership pass” or a “status card” which defines them as aboriginal or “Metis,” or a card which entitles them to the benifits of which an aboriginal community can give them threw one form or another.


In actuality besides the fact they recieve a card they are – aknowledged as part of our family unit, which carries the greatest of value & rewards, along with responsabuility and obligations, – because they are part of our family unit and that is something we take seriously, and we cherrish this.

“Our Family”

“is Our people!”



Being a member of ones family and of ones community has its pros and cons benifits and stresses, and when one joins our community – “our family” they are treated as such & are expected to conduct themselves as such, with dignity, honour, respect, and to act in kindness with honesty & good faith.

Regardless of location in Canada – all aboriginals are considered as “Family” members to us, – in fact we welcome all who are of aboriginal origen and their families.

A Proud Dancer.



We do not refuse any aboriginals from joining us, or from taking part as active members or non activ

Like all familys, some times there are disagreements, and then there is allot of love, support & help from family members, that is also part of what the word family means.

In todays society, as time passes, and as history of people evolve & continue to change, sometimes family values are lost, and sometimes bonds are broken & sometimes there are bad times & like with all other familys there are the good times as well.

“Chief Joseph”



At Muskwa we try to bring out the best of each & every member we have, we try to support our ever growing community, we try & educate our young to be the best that they can be, not only in support of their familys directly but also in support of their in-direct family members.


Reason being – we feel as if we do not help one & another, or we do not support the familys structures with their needs in daily living , we are not being a positive form of support for our familys or our future.


Our children & elderly, our poor & our handicap, they all depend on us! If we can give to them at minimum the time of day just to help address what ever seems to be a problem in their lives, then we are contributing to a more positive & healthy & productive society for genorations to come.


 “We are Aboriginals” 

“For Example” – As in all familys there is good & bad in all children  but truthfully there is no such meaning as “a truely bad child from the start”, because children are born innocent & pure & what they learn is what comes from set examples demonstrated to them in  society –  which shapes & forms their actions & behaviors as children & continues to remain until they are  adults.

“Example” – If a child is exposed to corruption from an early stage in his life – then chances are as he grows & developes he will have learned more & he will also have learned how to become corrupt.

“Example” – If a child is exposed to smoking or abuse of drugs or alcohol or if he is raised in an enviroment where there is criminal activity – then he may grow up repeating the same patterns – because thats all he has ever seen in his lifetime.

“Example” – If a child for example is raised in a financially poor enviroment where he has very little to eat, or poor living conditions, then chances are he may not have the inner will to walk the strait path to financial security & prospairity. – He may steal food to feed himself or his  siblings.

“Example” – If a child watches & witnesses his father beat his mother while he is growing up, or if he watches & witnesses his parents cheat on one & another then those examples too may assist in developing his opinion on what normal life may be, as he may grow to feel as though what he has lived threw is the way life should be & that is how he personally shoul be & he may repeat the set patterns of examples.

As intelligent respectable family members, we all know & understand that the examples which have just been given are by no means acceptable or tolorable in society, & with that in mind we do not nor should we judge those who have come from unfavorable situations, But what we should be doing is assisting in “Rectifying” what causes the problems.

Even if it means feeding the poor, of babysitting a neighbours child while she works to support her children – if we can. Or if at all possible donate to food drives, or churches when clothing drives are held.

The illimination of factors which contribute to poverty or poor living conditions creats a positive spinn off which in turn changes each & everyones future, which in turn allows for a healthy productive society later on.

We must strive to set the proper examples at all costs, & we must strive to contribute to upholding our laws which is what allows for our society to maintain its structure, & we must work hard at helping each other when needed.

One of the goals of our community is to maintain the family unit, keep our traditions & heritages strong & healthy, to take care of all our members direct or in-direct, & to keep our familys strong & healthy, despite who our members are, where they come from, or despite the social standings they hold in life – this job belongs to all of us & we take our responsabuilitys seriously.

We know the future will be dark if we all dont work hard at doing our part!

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, aboriginal music.




1.   Siouan

  • While Americans associate the Sioux with their own Western Plains, some branches of this family also moved historically within Canada’s borders. The Assiniboin and Dakota serve as two primary examples. Each migrated between the present borders separating the U.S. and Canada, deriving much of their sustenance and livelihood from the nomadic bison herds they followed. The dominant language of each nation is traditionally Lakota. History of Canada Online states that an original population of 10,000 was reduced to 3,000 due to smallpox outbreaks in the 18th century.

look more Sioux pictures

(sorry not upload completely,complete illustrations only for premium member)

 Sioux Indians


A Child
A Child
A Gift Of Enlightenment
A Gift Of Enlightenment
Along The Way
Along The Way
A Mountain Ute
A Mountain Ute
An American Portrait
An American Portrait
Ancient And Modern Art
Ancient And Modern Art
Ancient Dreams
Ancient Dreams
An Indian Ong
An Indian Ong
An Indian Pueblo Laguna New Mexico
An Indian Pueblo Laguna New Mexico
Apache Ceremony
Apache Ceremony
Appaloosa Heart
Appaloosa Heart
A Prayer For Their Vanishing Herds
A Prayer For Their Vanishing Herds
Arrival Of Winter Messenger
Arrival Of Winter Messenger
A Sioux Indian
A Sioux Indian
A Treasured Handbag
A Treasured Handbag
Autumn Apache
Autumn Apache
Bears In The Rainbow
Bears In The Rainbow
Bear Walks
Bear Walks
Bird Trying To Look Like An Indian
Bird Trying To Look Like An Indian
Blackfeet Card Players
Blackfeet Card Players
Blackfoot Bear Shaman
Blackfoot Bear Shaman
Blackfoot Indians
Blackfoot Indians
Blessing Of The Kivas
Blessing Of The Kivas
Brave Eagle
Brave Eagle
Bright Cloud
Bright Cloud
Brothers In Spirit
Brothers In Spirit
Calm Sounds Of The Ceremony
Calm Sounds Of The Ceremony
Canyon Mist
Canyon Mist
Caretakers Of The Blue House
Caretakers Of The Blue House
Carriers Of Father Universe
Carriers Of Father Universe
Catch The Wind
Catch The Wind
Changing Woman
Changing Woman
Cheyenne Summer
Cheyenne Summer
Chief Raincloud
Chief Raincloud


  • The Iroquois Confederation, which included Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida , Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes, was one of Canada’s most distinct native groups, enjoying partnerships in trade and mutual defense. The confederacy sought to incorporate conquered peoples into their collective. At its height, the confederation’s lands stretched from the Genesee River near Lake Ontario all the way to the environs of Lake Champlain.




  • The Algonquin family group is one of the largest and most territorially expansive throughout all of North America. Their vast geographical coverage has spanned from the Atlantic Ocean in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Some of the dominant tribes historically present in Canada include the Atsina, Chippawa and Cree. The large amount of territory covered by these peoples is, to some extent, a reflection of their significant mobility. While some of the Algonquin nations maintained hostile relations with the Iroquois Confederacy, at times they also fought each other, as did the Atsina and Cree.
  • There are many other tribes that were found throughout the Canadian landscape historically, and many are still present. Some examples include elements of the Shoshoni family, the Wendat Confederacy and the Skittegetan family. Additionally, there are peoples indigenous to the cold, northern expanse of Canada. Some of these tribes in the Northwest Territories include the Chipewyan, Dogrib, Gwich’in, Han, Hare, Kaska and Slavey, while the far northwest Yukon is also home to the Tagish, Tanana, Tlingit, Tutchone. The northern province of Nunavut, to the east, is governed entirely by the Inuit.



Inuit is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples of the Arctic who descended from the Thule. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference defines its constituency to include Canada’s Inuit and Inuvialuit, Greenland’s Kalaallit people, Alaska’s Inupiaq and Yupik people, and Russia’s Yupik. However, the Yupik are not Inuit in the sense of being descended from the Thule and prefer to be called Yupik or Eskimo.

The Inuit

The National Voice of Inuit Women


Pauktuutit fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women,


advocates for equality and social improvements, and encourages their participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada.



 Pauktuutit leads and supports


 Inuit women in Canada in policy development and community projects in all areas of interest to them for the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of the women, their families and communities.



Clothing Design

Qimniq, Klengenberg’ wife, was


an Inupiat from



 Point Hope Alaska. Prior to the family’s permanent move to


the Kitikmeot region in 1916,




Planning for the Kitikmeot Regional Chamber of Commerce

Expertise Provided: Organizational Planning, Policies and Procedures

Client: Kitikmeot Regional Chamber of Commerce

Northern Vision: The Kitikmeot region has a strong history of entrepreneurship and successful business development. The current economic climate and the expanding potential of mineral, oil, and gas development, highlighted the need for a regional forum to promote the growth of both local and regional businesses.

Nunavut Values: The small population and remoteness of the Kitikmeot communities have always represented a challenge to the coordination of any regional economic strategic planning. But through careful consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, Aarluk facilitated a successful series of meetings that identified the regional economic, goals, priorities, objectives and opportunities.

The Result: Aarluk’s work culminated in the creation of a Regional Chamber of Commerce, with a forward-looking mission and vision, and detailed plans for steering economic and business development in the Kitikmeot




The cook at Dr. L.D. Livingstone’s residence

Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), 1929



Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq),

Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq)


Community meeting
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), 1965
 look more pictures from pangnirtung



Unidentified children in a field of wildflowers
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), circa 1975


Group of unidentified Inuit and Reverend Peck (back row centre)
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), September 5, 1903


Unidentified man, Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), August 1946


Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq


Look more pictures from this area

soory the illustration not upload,you can look in


Project Naming

Have you ever wondered about the unknown people in your old family photographs? What if an entire community of people was photographed and never identified?

These are the questions asked by ‘Project Naming’. Launched in 2004, ‘Project Naming’  is an on-going initiative by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to aid in the identification of Inuit depicted in the various photographic collections held at LAC. This includes the photographic holdings from Indian and Northern Affairs, National Film Board, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and various private collections.  It’s a collaborative project between LAC, Nunavut Sivuniksavut (a specialized college program for Inuit youth based in Ottawa, Ontario), and the province of Nunavut’s Department of Culture, Languages, Elders and Youth (CLEY). The project provides Inuit youth with the opportunity to reconnect with elders from their communities and learn more about their heritage.

LAC has launched a Podcast series to accompany the efforts of ‘Project Naming’ and addresses various issues regarding photo documentation in the North over the past century..


Bella Lyall-Wilcox carrying her sister, Betty Lyall Brewster 

Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay), circa 1961


Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay),


Unidentified couple, Fullerton, 1904-1905











Niviaqsarjuk (left) and Jennie (right) wearing Western clothing, Fullerton, 1904


Portrait of Mallikee Fullerton, 1904-1905



Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq


Unidentified women
Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq), 1926


Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq


Look more pictures from this lake area



 sorry the illustration not upload,lood in CR-ROM






Eastern Arctic region



Unidentified couple
Eastern Arctic region 1947



Look more pictures from eastren artic region


sorry illustrations not upload,look at CD-ROM 


Studio portrait of an unidentified woman, probably from the Eastern Arctic, who came south on a New Bedford whaler, and was possibly on a “tour” when photographed
New York, New York, 1860

Arctic Bay



Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk/Tuninirusiq), circa 1974

Look more picture from ikplarjuk



 soory illustrations not upload


Atuat Nujaaqtu (left) and her sister
Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk/Tununirusiq), 1950




Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay),



Unidentifed young woman holding her infant
Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay), circa 1950s




Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay),

Look more picture from iqaluit


Abe Okpik at home
Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay), April 1964

Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq





 sorry another illustrations not upload lood at the CD-ROM


Miali Aarjuaq
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq), 1923

Arnakallak’s family


. From left to right: Qaumajuq, Piipi Nasaq, Jonathan, Rhoda and Arnakallak
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq), circa 1940-1944

Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk)

Unidentified young girl
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk) September 5, 1958

Unidentified family travelling overland during summertime at Hudson Bay
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk), 1912 or 1916


Unidentified individuals from different groups of families
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk), summer 1952


Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk


Unidentified individuals from different groups of families
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk), summer 1952


Inuit women of Padalamuit group, Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), NU, 1920

Barnabus Arnasungaaq
Beverly Lake, 1949



Beverly Lake 

Shappa, an employee of the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior
Cape Dorset (Kinngait), 1929

Cape Dorset (Kinngait



Unidentified sculptor in a print shop
Cape Dorset (Kinngait), April 1968

Lyon Inlet



Unidentified group of children
Lyon Inlet, 1933


Lyon Inlet

Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq




Group of unidentified children
Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), September 1959

Look more pictures from Qausuittuq


Resolute Bay Community History


Community Profile

Snapshot of Resolute circa 1950


Resolute between 1953 and 1980

Infrastructure and services


Health Care


Churches and Religion

Works Cited

Note on Place Names: The current official names of places are used here except in direct quotations from historical documents. Thus “Resolute” is used, even if Resolute is known as Qausuittuq or Qarmatalik locally and was formerly called Resolute Bay. Names of places that do not have official names will appear as they are found in the source documents.

Note: Currently, the histories are only available as drafts. These histories will change in response to evidence (oral and documentary) found during the work of the Commission.


Key Dates


Date Why is it important?
1947 A weather station and airstrip were established by the United States and Canada at Resolute
1949 A Royal Canadian Airforce base was established near the weather station
1953 Inuit and an RCMP officer were relocated to Resolute
1955 Inuit were relocated to Resolute
1958 Resolute received its first permanent school and full-time teacher
1960 A co-op was established
1965 An Anglican church was constructed
1968 A temporary nursing station was established
1974-1975 The settlement was relocated to provide improved water and sewage services and increase accommodation options for Qallunaat living off-base.
1987 Resolute achieved hamlet status
1991 Timothy Idlout moved to Resolute, and was the last Inuit to leave camp life for a settlement


Community Profile

The Hamlet of Resolute (pop. 229) is Canada’s second most northern community, and is located on the western shore of Resolute Bay on the south shore of Cornwallis Island. It was named after the ship HMS Resolute that participated in the search for English explorer Sir John Franklin. The Inuit name for the town is Qausuittuq, meaning “the place with no dawn.” Other names for the community have included Qarnartakuj, meaning “the place of the ruins,” and Resolute Bay (“First Eastern Arctic Mine,” 1973).

Archaeology provides evidence that the Cornwallis Island region was inhabited from time to time by Tunit cultures as early as 1500 BCE, and afterwards by Thule peoples as recently as 1000 CE (Kemp, et al, 1977). Historic-era Inuit did not establish camps or settlements on the island until the relocations of the 1950s.

Modern habitation of the Queen Elizabeth Islands began in 1947 when the United States and Canada built a weather station at Resolute Bay. Inuit were relocated to the area by the government in 1953 and 1955 from Pond Inlet and Inukjuak (formerly known as Port Harrison). In the 1960s and 1970s some residents left the community and returned to their previous homes, particularly the families that were originally from Inukjuak.

Scientists from all parts of Canada and around the world have used the community as a base for High Arctic studies, attracted to the area by its geographical proximity to the pole and the infrastructure provided by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) base.

Selected Statistics

Population* and dwellings

Resolute, Hamlet




Population in 2006



Population in 2001



2001 to 2006 population change (%)



Total private dwellings






Aboriginal identity population in 2006 



Non-aboriginal identify population in 2006



Source: Statistics Canada (2007).


Cornwallis Island is part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands. It boasts of a series of low-lying plains and plateaus, which create an almost featureless terrain scattered with rock debris. The island also has several lakes and rivers. The island geography and position are valuable features for Inuit hunting practices.

Between 1953 and 1960 Inuit hunted and trapped along the coasts of Somerset Island and parts of Prince of Wales Island. Hunters also travelled inland to the interior of Somerset Island where caribou were plentiful.

After 1960 hunting areas expanded as Inuit learned more about the land.

Caribou hunting still takes place in the spring on the western part of Somerset Island and on Russell Island, often along with the polar bear hunt, and in winter on Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island. Char is fished throughout Cornwallis Island and Somerset Island in inland lakes and rivers. Smaller animals are also hunted (Milton Freeman and Associates, 1976).

For information on animals in the region, please visit the Animals (add hyperlink) section of this web site.

Snapshot of Resolute circa 1950

Four Inuit families were moved to Resolute Bay by ship in 1953 with an RCMP officer. Another six families were relocated to the community in 1955. The government saw the move as a success, but relocated Inuit protested that they had unwittingly participated in an ill-conceived experiment and demanded acknowledgement of wrong-doing by the government. In 1996, the Canadian Government awarded $10 million to the survivors of the relocation, but never offered an apology (Bell, 1996).

Group of Inuit children, Resolute Bay, N.W.T. Source: Library and Archives Canada, R1196-14-7-E, National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-178998. September 1959, Resolute Bay, NWT. [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut].


The reasons for the government-sponsored High Arctic relocations of the 1950s have been examined by academics, authors, journalists, bureaucrats, independent scholars and, most notably, by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP). There are sharp divisions concerning the reasons for the relocations. Reasons suggested by authors include:

  • A desire by the Government of Canada to populate the High Arctic to support Canadian sovereignty claims;
  • an intention on the part of the Government of Canada to centralize Inuit in communities where they could provide labour for government services (Kemp, et al, 1977);
  • a desire to improve the lives of Quebec Inuit whose livelihoods were thought to be under threat due to decreased game stocks; and,
  • an interest in reducing what was seen to be growing dependence on government assistance.


Some families chose to establish camps rather than live in the settlement. Between 1955 and 1960, three or four families occupied camps in the area (Kemp, et al, 1977). Timothy Idlout, his wife Nangat and their 12 children remained at a camp after all the other families left the area in 1967. Idlout lived on the land until 1991 when poor health forced him to move to Resolute. He was the last Inuit to leave camp life for the settlement (Welch, 1993).

Qallunaat Institutions

In 1947 Canada and the United States established a Joint Arctic Weather Station on the southern coast of Cornwallis Island. An airfield was built as part of the weather station project. Two years later an RCAF base was established near the weather station.

Alex Stevenson, on right, watching a group of unidentified Inuit bring in a dead walrus alongside their whale boat. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. 1983-120 NPC, Item no. 420. August 1955, [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]

The Inuit who arrived in Resolute from Inukjuak had been accustomed to receiving services in the core of Inukjuak. They were unable to receive these services in Resolute because most services were at the RCAF base, which was about five kilometres away. This distance was purposely created to reduce or prevent interactions between the base Qallunaat and Inuit (Tester and Kulchyski, 1994).




Resolute between 1953 and 1980


There was no modern Inuit settlement at Resolute until September 1953 when four Inuit families consisting of 23 people, 27 dogs, and RCMP constable Ross Gibson were delivered to the area as part of a government relocation program. Three families came from Inukjuak, while the other family was from Pond Inlet. In 1955, 34 more people were relocated from Inukjuak and Pond Inlet to Resolute under the same government program.

The first year in Resolute was difficult due to “a lack of supplies and inadequate equipment” (Government of Canada, 1994, page 494). In addition to problems posed by substandard housing, a boat without a propeller, insufficient numbers of caribou skins for clothing and inadequate food and ammunition supplies, temperatures were much lower than temperatures in Inukjuak, game and terrain conditions were very different, and there were three months of darkness. Added on top of these hardships were the loss of friendships and kinships with the move and the cultural and language differences between the Pond Inlet and Inukjuak groups.

Department of Transport helicopters at Inuit village. Library and Archives Canada, National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-179003. September 1959. [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]

Many Inuit worked for various government agencies in Resolute, but they were not paid directly. Their wages were held in an account by the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources which gave ‘credits’ to the wage-earners in place of cash. The credits appear to have been poorly managed, and Inuit allege that they often worked without pay (Marcus, 1992). A store managed by the Department determined which goods could be purchased by Inuit and at what price. This system only ended in 1960 when a co-operative was established in Resolute.


Early in the 1960s, the federal government officially ended relocations because of scarce game resources in the area. In this period, Inuit were finding casual employment at the RCAF base and weather station, but subsistence still depended on harvesting with supplements coming from carving and trapping (Weissling, 1991). Some Inukjuak Inuit began to petition to return to Northern Quebec (Kemp, et al, 1977).

In 1965, 12 Inuit were permanently employed at the base complex. By 1966, the community counted only one full-time hunter, although most employed men also hunted for food (Damas, 2002). In the opinion of the RCMP officer, progress had proven to Inuit “the benefits and security which employment provided compared to the hardships encountered in their old way of life” (Weissling, 1991, page 206).

The RCMP reported increasing problems in the community that were attributed to excessive alchohol consumption (Weissling, 1991). In 1968, Idlout, a Pond Inlet Inuk famous for his role in A Long Day’s Night, died in a snowmobile accident on his way home after leaving the base canteen where he had reportedly been drinking.


By the 1970s, researchers and geologists seeking natural resources had been travelling to the High Arctic for decades. However, the worldwide energy crisis of the 1970s sped up the search for oil and gas in the Cornwallis Island area. Resolute airport became the largest and busiest airport in the Arctic Circle (“Baffin Neighbourhood,” 1973). Scheduled weekly flights to Resolute from Edmonton, Montréal and Winnipeg began in 1973 (“Transair Okayed, ” 1974). The increased population of transients strained the local infrastructure, and in 1973 discussions began about relocating the Inuit settlement.

A new town site was meant to serve two functions: provide improved water and sewage services and more accommodation options for Qallunaat living off-base in Resolute. In 1974, materials for new buildings were shipped to Resolute and government services were moved to the new town site. Inuit homes were relocated the following year.

The location of the new village was poor from the perspective of Inuit. From this spot, they were unable to observe migrating marine mammals from town, and travel to the ice floe became difficult because equipment had to be hauled across land to boats (Kemp, et al, 1977).

The other major development in the 1970s was the significant decline of the caribou herd on Bathurst Island (Kemp, et al, 1977). Inuit blamed increased Qallunaat activity in the area. In the 1970s, natural resource development and seismic testing in the area were protested fiercely by the Inuit. This resolve eventually led to to the Inuit gaining mineral rights in Land Claim negotiations (McPherson, 2003).

Infrastructure and services

Prior to the relocation of the Inuit village in 1975, the village had poor services, including limited running water and hydro. The new town site boasted improved services. Fuel and water were delivered once a week and garbage was picked up weekly by truck in the summer, and snowmobile and sled in the winter. Buildings at the base complex and in South Camp were serviced by pipes from Char Lake and fuel from the tank farm (Kemp, et al, 1977).


RCMP officer Ross Gibson offered simple schooling to the Inuit children in the first dark winters at Resolute. Leah Idlout took over the role of teacher when she and her father, Idlout of Pond Inlet, moved to the settlement in 1955 (Tester & Kulchyski, 1994). Leah taught school in a small house until she left the community in 1958. Resolute received its first permanent school and a full time teacher also in 1958. A second teacher arrived in 1965 and by 1967 a second classroom was added to the school (Government of Canada, 1994).

Health Care

In the settlement’s early years the local RCMP officer was tasked with ensuring the Resolute Inuit were in good health. The closeness of the settlement to the RCAF base allowed for easy extraction of patients with serious illnesses to Frobisher Bay or other healthcare centres – weather permitting (Bissett, 1968).

Inuit boy receiving a rabies inoculation [Joe Amagoalik is the boy receiving the inoculation at the Resolute Bay Nursing Station]. Resolute Bay, N.W.T., [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]. Library and Archives Canada. Health Canada, e002394468

The C.D. Howe provided annual x-rays and vaccinations as well as annual bouts of influenza and unwanted passage to southern sanitoriums for Inuit suffering tuberculosis. The measles was also brought to the Inuit at Resolute in 1957 when the C.D. Howe was forced to stop at Resolute after a number of its Inuit passengers contracted the disease. The infected passengers were off-loaded on the shore near the Inuit village, and while physically separated from the Resolute Inuit, the disease quickly jumped the gap, infecting the Resolute Inuit (Tester and Kulchyski, 1994).

Nurses travelling to High Arctic communities passed through the base at Resolute and often took time to examine the Resolute Inuit. The close proximity to the air base, while providing a convenient means of extraction in the event of serious illness, also provided for much more interaction between Inuit and transient Qallunaat. This resulted in frequent illness and influenza outbreaks (Bissett, 1968). In the 1960s, maintenance of the base complex was contracted out to Tower Company, which installed a permanent nurse in the base. However, the company complained to the Northern Health Service (NHS) about the large amounts of time the nurse dedicated to Inuit patients. In response to the complaint the NHS shipped a temporary nursing station to Resolute in 1968. Tower Company’s nurse staffed the trailer part time until a full time nurse was recruited (Bissett, 1968).


The first year in Resolute was spent in duck tents and later, when the snow conditions were right, igloos. The snow conditions were different in Resolute that what the Inukjuak Inuit were accustomed to and consequently made the construction of the Igloos much more difficult.(Tester and Kulchyski , 1994) When spring arrived, the Resolute Inuit gathered scrap and surplus wood from the RCAF base and the dump and began building homes. By 1957 there were 11 makeshift houses constructed along the beach. The base provided enough electricity to the village for each house to run a single light.

Inuit roofing a building. Library and Archives Canada, National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-178999. September 1959. [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]

(Weissling 1991) Inuit heated their homes by burning scrap wood in discarded oil drums.

Three houses were shipped to Resolute in 1956 but they arrived to late in the season to be erected. The following year the three buildings intentioned to be homes were constructed and used as a community store, a warehouse and a school. Four newer houses were erected in 1964 with material purchased from the co-op.( Weissling 1991) When the settlement was relocated to its present location in 1975 a number of new pre-fabricated houses, serviced by the utilidor system, were erected for Inuit occupation.

Churches and Religion

Anglicanism was thoroughly established in the Inuit in both Inukjuak and Pond Inlet for decades before the relocation (Kemp, et al, 1977). During the early years of the settlement, religious service was provided in a small shed constructed out of discarded base material. The space also served as a workshop and school house. An Anglican church was erected in the community in 1965, and a lay preacher from Pond Inlet conducted the services (Bissett, 1968).

Inuit woman Martha plays the concertina for a group of dancing boys. National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-179001, March 1956, Resolute Bay, NWT.

Works Cited

“Baffin Neighbourhood News, Resolute Booming” (1973, 12 October). Inukshuk, page 12.

Bell, J. (1996, March 15). Exiles Denied Apology. Nunatsiaq News. Retrieved 16 September, 2008, from

Bissett, D. (1968). Resolute, an area economic survey. Ottawa: Industrial Division, Dept. of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

David Damas (2002). Arctic Migrants/Arctic Villagers: the Transformation of Inuit Settlement in the Central Arctic. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

“First Eastern Arctic Mine a Near Reality” (1973, 12 October). Inuksuk, 7( 32), pages 12, 19.

Government of Canada (1994). The High Arctic relocation summary of supporting information. Vol. 2. Ottawa: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1994.

Kemp, W.B.; Wenzel, G.W.; Jensen, N.; Val, E. (1977). The communities of Resolute and Kuvinaluk: a social and economic baseline study. Polar Gas socio-economic program. Montreal: McGill University, Office of Industrial Research.

Marcus, A.R. (1992). Out in the cold: the legacy of Canada’s Inuit relocation experiment in the High Arctic. Copenhagen: IWGIA.

McPherson, R. (2003). New Owners of Their Own Land: Minerals and Inuit Land Claims. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.

Milton Freeman and Associates. Inuit land use and occupancy project, Volume three: Land use atlas. Ottawa: Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.

Statistics Canada (2007). Resolute, Nunavut . 2006 Community Profiles, 2006 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE. Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007.

Tester, F.J. and Kulchyski, P.K. (1994). Tammarniit (mistakes) Inuit relocation in the Eastern Arctic. Vancouver: UBC Press.

“Transair Okayed to Fly into Resolute.” (1974, 12 June). Inukshuk, page 3.

Weissling, L.E. (1991). Inuit redistribution and development processes of change in the eastern Canadian Arctic 1922-1968. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Alberta.

Welch, H.E. (1993). Timothy Idlout (1916-1992). Arctic, 46(1).


Unknown location

Unidentified man
Unknown location circa 1950s


Unidentified man and two children
Unknown location, no date


Unidentified children playing
Unknown location circa 1950s


Unidentified woman carrying her baby in an amauti
Unknown location summer 1952


Ruth Enoch and Sarah Ross
Unknown location, 1929


 Qimniq had of course been sewing clothing for the family following the Inupiat traditions of design and construction. She taught this sewing tradition to her eldest daughter Etna, and when the family moved into Copper Inuit territory the two continued producing Inupiat style clothing.

Qimniq Klengenberg and her two daughters,
on left Lena, on right Etna, 1924.
(National Archives of Canada/PA 172875)

Qimniq Klengenberg, wife of
Charlie Klengenberg, 1924.
(National Archives of Canada/PA 172882)

Shortly after their move Etna had a Inupiat style parka sewn for a woman named Manigogina in the tree river area. Women in the area began to use the pattern, and this parka style became the height of style among Copper Inuit. As the parka required more skins than traditional Copper Inuit patterns, and as the “Mother Hubbard” cotton cover for the inner parka required store-bought cloth, ownership of such a parka was a mark of affluence. The Inupiat style clothing patterns came to completely replace the traditional Copper Inuit styles, and are today considered traditional dress.

Copper Inuit Clothing, Front View
(Diamond Jenness/CMC/51234)

Copper Inuit Clothing, Back View
(Diamond Jenness/CMC/51235)

Copper Inuit Overcoat
(National Archives of Canada/C86071




Canadian Inuit live primarily in

Nunavut, Nunavik

(a region in the northern part of the province of Quebec defined by the James Bay Agreement)

Read more info

Nature and Culture in the Highlands


Nunavik (Quebec or New) forms the northern third of the province of Quebec in Canada, and covers an area of about 507,000 sq km of tundra and boreal forest. The approximately 11,000 residents of Nunavik, 90% are Inuit living along the coast in 14 northern villages and the Cree village of Whapmagoostui.
Nunavik means “the place to live” in Inuktitut in Quebec and the Inuit of Nunavik are called Nunavik.



Nunavik is separated from the territory of Nunavut by Hudson Bay, west, and Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay to the north. The 55th parallel separates the region of James Bay, south. Together, these two regions form the administrative region of Northern Quebec. Southeast of Nunavik, are the administrative region of the North Shore and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Ungava Peninsula forms the northern two thirds of Nunavik.

The administrative center of Nunavik is\



 the village of Kuujjuaq,






the river Koksoak,

south of


Ungava Bay.


 Other important villages are




(where the film Nanook of the North was shot in 1922),


















There is no road link between Nunavik and southern Quebec,

 although the Transtaiga ends near the 55th parallel

 (on the banks of Caniapiscau,

 a few hundred kilometers from Kuujjuaq), on the one hand, and the road to James Bay is about 250 km away from the twin

villages of Whapmagoostui

and Kuujjuarapik (on the east coast of Hudson Bay), on the other. There is a scheduled air service and a maritime link seasonal (summer and fall).
There are three sites in Nunavik meteoric craters, or craters Saguenay, and La Couture Moinerie.

The Convention of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975 paved the way for the construction of the La Grande hydroelectric complex and laid the foundation for self-government for Nunavik region: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG). All residents of 14 northern villages, Native and non-indigenous, have the right to vote.

 The KRG is subsidized by the Government of Quebec (50%) and the Government of Canada (25%).
Makivik Corporation, which is headquartered in Kuujjuaq, representing the Inuit of Quebec in their relations with the governments of Quebec and Canada and manages the compensation paid by the Government of Quebec under the James Bay Agreement and Northern Quebec (about $ 140 million between 1975 and 1999). The Company argues for greater autonomy in Nunavik and has recently reached an agreement in principle on the recognition of Aboriginal rights of Nunavik Inuit on the islands off the coast, which are part of Nunavut.
The Cree village of Whapmagoostui, near the northern village Kuujjuarapik, is part of the Cree Regional Authority and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and not involved in the KRG. Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, the North Shore, owns land for hunting and trapping in the south of Nunavik and is represented in the KRG.
Although there are several islands off the coast of Nunavik, like all the islands of the Bay and Hudson Strait are under the jurisdiction of Nunavut.

Nunavik communities

Akulivik, (population : 483 hab.)




in Nunatsiavut

 (a region in Labrador whose borders are yet to be fixed.)


The Inuvialuit live primarily in the Mackenzie River delta, on Banks Island and part of Victoria Island in the Northwest Territories. There have been Inuit settlements in Yukon, especially at Herschel Island, but there are none at present. Alaskan Inupiaq live on the North Slope of Alaska, while the Yupik live in western Alaska and a part of Chukotka Autonomous Area in Russia. The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is a national organization in Canada which represents over 40,000 Canadian Inuit.



Inuit Woman 1907

The Inuit are traditionally hunters who fish and hunt whale, walrus, and seal by kayak or by boat or by waiting at airholes the seals make in the ice. They use igloos as hunting or emergency shelters. They make use of animal skins in their clothing (e.g. anorak). Dog sleds, known as qamutiit, are used for travel pulled by Inuit Sled Dogs in a fan hitch, though snowmobiles have largely replaced this mode of travel.

In Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit people, “Inuit” means “the people”. The English word “Eskimo” comes from the French “Esquimaux” but the origins of this French word are unclear. Many Inuit consider the word Eskimo offensive, but is still in general usage to refer to all Eskimo peoples, though it has fallen into disuse throughout Canada, where Canadians use the term Inuit. The men are traditionally hunters of seals, whales, walrus, and caribou, using harpoons, canoes (or kayaks), dogs, and sleds. Fishing is also important. The women take care of the children, clean the house and cook.

The Inuit living in North America were formerly classified together with other Native Americans, but they are now considered to be an entirely separate ethnic group who arrived in North America a few millennia after the latter did, probably around 500 as the Thule, replacing the Dorset culture. Accordingly, in Canada the Inuit are not considered First Nations. However, they, the Indians, and the Métis are collectively recognized by the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 as Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Other synonyms include “First Peoples” and “Native Peoples”. Inuit are members of the Mongoloid race, which also includes various Siberian tribes such as the Yakut, as well as the Chinese and Japanese.


The European arrival caused a great deal of damage to the Inuit way of life, causing mass death and other suffering. Circa 1970, Inuit leaders came forward and pushed for respect for the Inuit and their territories. One of the resulting land-claims agreements created the Canadian territory of Nunavut, the largest land-claims agreement in Canadian history. In recent years, circumpolar cultural and political groups have come together to promote the Inuit people and to fight against ecological problems, such as the greenhouse effect and resulting global warming, which heavily affects the Inuit population due to the melting and thinning of the arctic ice and declining arctic mammal populations. Nunavut premier Paul Okalik took the lead in this regard in a First Ministers’ meeting discussing the Kyoto Accord.


One of the most famous Inuit artists is Pitseolak Ashoona. Susan Aglukark is a popular Canadian singer. In 2002 the feature film Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner directed by Zacharias Kunuk (with all dialogue in the Inuktitut language and written, filmed, produced, directed, and acted almost entirely by Inuit of Igloolik) was released world wide to great critical and popular acclaim. Jordin Tootoo became the first Inuk to play in the National Hockey League in the 2003-04 season, playing for the Nashville Predators. Well-known Inuit politicians include Premier Paul Okalik of Nunavut and Nancy Karetak-Lindell, MP for the riding of Nunavut. Also, Mitiarjuk Attasie Nappaaluk is helping to preserve the Inuit language, Inuktitut. She wrote the first Inuit novel. (to do list: culture past and present, spirituality, customs, etc)


Inuit clothing


Inuit woman wearing an amauti and carrying a child on her back (graphic material): N.W.T. (Nunavut), ca. 1926 – 1943.


Copper Inuit Clothing, Front View (Diamond Jenness/CMC/51234)Copper Inuit Clothing, Back View (Diamond Jenness/CMC/51235)


Copper Inuit Clothing, Back View (Diamond Jenness/CMC/51235)


This Inuit woman, photographed by the Scottish botanist-explorer Isobel Wylie Hutchison in the 1920s, is dressed in her colourful traditional national costume. The most characteristic part of this outfit is perhaps the “kamiker”, or heel-less sealskin top-boots, which reach up to the knee in the case of men, but well above that in the case of women, as illustrated here. The outer surface of the women’s boots is dyed white, scarlet, or blue, and decorated with abstract geometrical patterns of brightly-coloured leather strips. There is a removable inner lining which keeps the feet and legs warm. Hutchison found that such footwear was essential, not only for negotiating the slippery rocks and shingle, but for protection against insect bites.


Title Nowadlook, an Inuit women, dressed in fur parka, Alaska, 1907
Photographer Dobbs, B. B. (Beverly Bennett)
Date 1907
Notes Caption on image: Copyright 1907. B.B. Dobbs.  Handwritten on image: Nowadlook.  PH Coll 788.3 (See also PH Coll 323.88)
Contextual Notes Beverly Bennett Dobbs was born in 1868 near Marshall, Missouri. In 1888 Dobbs moved to Bellingham, Washington and operated a photography studio there for 12 years. In 1900 Dobbs moved to Nome, Alaska and continued to work as a photographer capturing images of Nome, the Seward Peninsula, and Inuit people. In 1909, Dobbs started the Dobbs Alaska Moving Picture Co. and began making films about the Gold Rush. By 1914, Dobbs had moved back to Seattle and was creating more films through the Dobbs Totem Film Company which he ran until his death in 1937.
Subjects (LCTGM) Eskimos–Women–Alaska; Eskimos–Clothing & dress–Alaska; Fur garments
Subjects (LCSH) Nowadlook; Parkas–Alaska
Location Depicted United States–Alaska
Digital Collection Alaska, Western Canada and United States Collection
Order Number AWC3207
Repository University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division
Repository Collection Beverly B. Dobbs Alaska photograph album. PH Coll 788
Beverly B. Dobbs Photographs. PH Coll 323
Object Type Photograph
Physical Description 7 x 9 1/2 in.
Digital Reproduction Information Scanned from a photographic print using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600XL at 100 dpi in JPEG format at compression rate 3 and resized to 768×600 ppi. 2008.

Beverly B. Dobbs Alaska photograph album.




The Inuit Art Collections

The Primitive  Inuit Art Collections


Inuit Art at UNBC

The Ray Anderson Inuit Art Collection


Artists: Imoona Karpik & Sowdluq Nakasook

Raymond Cecil Anderson was a dedicated Career Diplomat for the Canadian Foreign Service. Having been posted in Brazil, the Philippines, Los Angeles, Seattle, and as the High Commissioner to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson acquired and displayed Inuit and First Nations art for display in their “homes” away from home. The Anderson’s felt that the aesthetic quality of these two unique art forms communicated eloquently across the cultural boundaries they continually faced in their travels. In the summer of 1999, Mr. Anderson donated his extensive collection to the University of Northern British Columbia. Mr. Anderson passed away October 27, 2003.


Artist: Eegyvudluk Pootoogook

The Ray Anderson Inuit Art Collection includes 25 major Inuit sculptures and 75 smaller soap stone sculptures, the latter of which are primarily displayed on the second and third floors of the Geoffrey R. Weller Library. Also donated are 40 stonecut Inuit prints, produced by internationally recognized Inuit women artists such as Pitseolak, Ikajukta and Kudjuakjuk; as well as, work by eminent First Nations artists such as Bill Reid. In this one gift, Raymond Anderson – diplomat and art enthusiast – has left the University of Northern British Columbia a tremendous legacy of art which will serve both the research and aesthetic needs of the academic community in perpetuity.






Imagery in Inuit Art

Inuit were making sculptural works long before James Houston presided over the birth of the contemporary art industry. Working within the limits of available materials (mainly ivory and bone) and tools (mostly handmade), they crafted ornaments and toys, utilizing images from their everyday lives. To a certain extent, the subject of Inuit sculpture continues to be constrained by available materials and tools. The shape, size, and hardness of stone, for instance, dictate what can be done with it, although Inuit carvers succeed — surprisingly often — in rising to the challenge of producing original work.


Expression is also limited by the medium. Janet Berlo, for instance, has contrasted “the wealth of data about northern life, self representation, gender relations, and other concerns of aboriginal life” found in drawings with the “decorative, uncomplicated, and simple” information to be gleaned from prints (Berlo 1993:5).

Even with the limitations of available supplies and media, Inuit would more often than not use art to tell stories. As they often remind us, theirs is an oral culture. The making of art has taken the place of a written language in recording legends, events, and a way of life that is unknown to the younger generation. As Nunavik artist Paulosie Kasadluak said: “What we show in our carving is the life we have lived in the past right up to today” (“Nothing Marvellous,” in Port Harrison/Inoucdjouac [catalogue]. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1977:21). It has, however, long been the case that hunting and domestic scenes from a past way of life find expression in artwork, while more contemporary imagery is used less frequently.

There are artists —and their numbers may be growing — whose work is more personally expressive. Although Manasie Akpaliapik has talked about a desire to record legends, which, he said, “are important to us [Inuit] because we use them as guide posts to the old days” (IAQ 1990:11), he has also confided that artmaking is “healing” for him (Ayre 1993:38). He has also ventured into social commentary: one of his well-known works, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, depicts a despairing face with a bottle of alcohol emerging from its head, intended to convey the artist’s conviction that alcohol is contributing to the death of Inuit culture.

Social commentary has not, however, been a frequent feature of Inuit art. In part, this is because of what Terry Ryan, longtime northern arts advisor, has referred to as a public fixation on so-called traditional art, by which is meant the Inuit way of life as it was when the world “discovered” it in the mid-20th century. It is not unusual to see repetitive work, even from highly talented artists. It is difficult to explain the virtues of innovation and experimentation to people who can sell large, highly polished and handsomely carved stone bears for several thousand dollars each.

While the market pressure for imagery from a past way of life is undoubtedly a powerful influence, artists also play a role in the continuing production of what might be called “memory art.” Referring to their fear of losing their culture, if not their identity, Nunatsiavut artist Gilbert Hay said several years ago: “Look at us today. For the last 150 or 200 years our culture has been sabotaged by you guys, your values. I’m wearing your clothing. Any culture tries to hold onto what it’s losing. We were and still are trying to document our own history” (IAQ 1990:11).

Mutually reinforcing factors support the repetition of “traditional” imagery — the hunter with the bow and arrow and the woman flensing the skins — but, over the years, a few artists have successfully incorporated such modern imagery as airplanes (Pudlo Pudlat), drunkenness (Manasie Akpaliapik et al.), and residential school angst (David Ruben Piqtoukun). Renegades do, however, leave themselves open to dismissal. To quote from the 1997 Transitions exhibit organized by the federal government, even though Inuit art is not “simply arctic animals and scenes from the past,” (July Papatsie) it is sometimes dismissed as “unauthentic” when it incorporates “noticeable signs of modernity” (Barry Ace). July Papatsie, co-curator of the travelling exhibition, spoke for a growing number of artists when he said that Inuit want to be “modern and experimental” (Transitions: Contemporary Canadian Indian and Inuit Art [catalogue]. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1997:4–8).


Some may be stretching the boundaries of what is expected, but Inuit have to work harder than most to have their innovations accepted (Seagrave 1998:4–15). There is a resistance to their drawing on western imagery, and the market has been slow to accept “modern” work. In recent years, however, there have been several well-promoted exhibitions of work by Inuit artists who are breaking free of constraining conventions. Annie Pootoogook’s depictions of contemporary Inuit life include Biblical references, ATMs, Ritz crackers, and Saddam Hussein — not the sort of stuff we have come to expect from Inuit.

While some, with the support of progressive marketing agents, are attracting mainstream attention for their work, the continuing focus on economic development has resulted in “carving factories” like the Jessie Oonark Arts and Crafts Centre, which opened in Baker Lake in 1992 to produce standardized carvings to be marketed as “gifts.” The project was aborted later in the face of a groundswell of opposition from artists, dealers, and others, but such attempts continue, the latest being the Nunavut government’s arrangement with organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics to have artists produce up to 40,000 inuksuit. They were not to be mass-produced, but nonetheless two sizes were recommended.

This “production mentality,” as Terry Ryan called it, is counterproductive to the creation of expressive art (IAQ 2004:32). In a very early article in Inuit Art Quarterly, art historian Hal Opperman wrote about the Inuit interface with the modern world, which, ideally, results in transformed creativity and expression (Opperman 1986:1–4). Unfortunately, that same interface involves exposure to mass production strategies, which, if implemented, will demoralize the artists and destabilize the market. Given the unrelenting challenges to survive that artists face every day, it is difficult to resist get-rich-quick opportunities. There are, however, always those who want to make art — how they want, with what they want — and we have the elephant to prove it!

Marybelle Mitchell, editor-in-chief of Inuit Art Quarterly



Inuit art is a defining feature of CUAG’s collecting and exhibition programmes. In 1992, Dr. Marion Jackson, a scholar of Inuit art, facilitated the generous gift to CUAG of the Priscilla Tyler and Maree Brooks Collection of Inuit Art. The collectors, both Americans, travelled extensively throughout Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Greenland in the 1970s and 1980s, meeting artists and buying their work. Their passion for Inuit narrative resulted in the 1995 co-publication by the gallery and Carleton University Press of Lela Kiana Oman’s The Epic of Qayaq: The Longest Story Ever Told By My People. Their art collection ultimately comprised approximately 1275 works in all media, with a strong concentration of prints by artists from Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake), Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Ulukhaktok (Holman), Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), and Puvirnituq. Exhibitions drawn from the Tyler/Brooks collection are frequently on display in the gallery


The Tyler/Brooks donation has attracted other significant gifts of Inuit art to the collection. Major donations include the R.D. Bell Collection of Inuit Art of 57 sculptures, with several large and impressive works, particularly by Cape Dorset artists, and the Josephine Mitchell and Lowell Schoenfeld Collection of Inuit Art, comprised of 55 sculptures. Most recently, John Andrew and Carolle Anne Armour donated 91 sculptures and 170 works on paper, including 32 drawings by the acclaimed Cape Dorset artist Parr and 15 drawings by Luke Anguhadluq, a senior Baker Lake artist. A medical doctor, Armour was especially interested in the activities of the shaman or angikoq – the doctor and healer of Inuit society – and as such, a number of the sculptural works in the collection address shamanic themes.

Priscilla Tyler and Maree Brooks intended their collection to foster greater understanding of and appreciation for Inuit art, a goal achieved through exhibitions, research, and publications. Indeed, CUAG’s Inuit collection is a rich resource for such activity, in particular by students. Many of the exhibitions have been curated by undergraduate and graduate art history students, who gain invaluable curatorial experience working with the collection in a professional setting.

The gallery has published several exhibition catalogues featuring their research, including Qiviuq: A Legend in Inuit Art (1996) by Jennifer Gibson, Making Art Work in Cape Dorset (1997) by Shannon Bagg, and The Arctic Lithograph (1998) by Jennifer Cartwright. In late 2009 we launched our first collections catalogue, Sanattiaqsimajut: Inuit Art from the Carleton University Art Gallery Collection, a full-colour, richly-illustrated, 232-page hardcover book documenting the highlight’s of CUAG’s important Inuit art collection and featuring the work of 34 guest writers. This book was awarded first prize in catalogue design by the American Association of Museums publication design competition (2009) and “special recognition” in the category of art publication of the year by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (2010).


Inuit Art from the collection of Dr Samuel Wagonfeld and his wife Sally Allen

This is a virtual tour of the exhibition that I put together from photos I took.
The tour is broken out into 3 different pages. Each page will provide a link to the next page in the tour









Page 1 of the virtual tour

Page 2 of the virtual tour


Page 3 of the virtual tour

These pages contain a few of the pictures that I took when I visited this exhibition on September 12th, 2004.
I also was lucky enough to meet and talk with Dr. Wagonfeld and his wife Sally before I attended his lecture. They are both wonderful people and
Dr. Wagonfeld and I have a similar story on how we both started collecting, we both started collecting from chance visits to a gallery and then started learning about the culture and became addicted.

 I enjoyed meeting them and talking to them and having Dr. Wagonfeld show me some of  his favorite pieces and also hear some interesting stories from his wife Sally.

They have been collecting for about 15 years now and have a
fantastic collection. I have a great appreciation for Inuit art even though they are not a culture that produces masks and statues like most African cultures.

The art that is produced by Inuit people is mainly art that was produced after the people were introduced to outside cultures and
influences. The Inuit were a largely nomadic people and the items they produced originally were mostly utilitarian objects.

There was a fantastic catalog put out with this exhibition,
and if you are interested in a copy you can call the museum directly at (970) 962-2410 (It’s $20 USD)



Press releases about the exhibition…
Original release

Loveland Museum Gives Dramatic View of Arctic Art and Culture

“Powerful.” “Eye-opening.” “Such a surprise.” “Extensive”. “Well-presented.” “Insightful”.

These are among visitor responses to the current exhibition of Inuit sculpture, prints, drawings and textile wall hangings now at the Loveland
Museum/Gallery, 5th & Lincoln in Loveland. Survival: Inuit Art offers a comprehensive introduction to the major life themes of the Inuit people,
northern Canadian Eskimos whose traditional way of life and culture are disappearing. The show encompasses works depicting family life, hunting
and fishing, Arctic wildlife, shamanism, legends and myths and historical accounts of life in the inhospitable climate of the Arctic North. It is a visually
dynamic exhibit, designed to enhance the artistic impact of each piece and, at the same time, to place each work of art in a broader and well-
documented context.

Spanning over a half-century of art-making in Arctic, the works on exhibit are from the private collection of Samuel Wagonfeld, M.D. of Denver. As
Canadian gallery-owner Patricia Feheley points out in the exhibit’s extensive color catalog, the collection illuminates a culture that has undergone
radical change. It also includes insight into the modern Inuit artists who move “beyond traditional cultural boundaries to stand as universal
expressions of mature artistic form.”

Almost as fascinating as the art and history of the Inuit are the questions the show raises about the passion of collecting art. “An art collection is as
individual as a thumbprint,” says Feheley. And, when a collection is shared with others through exhibition and publication, others can learn to
appreciate the art as well. As one viewer said, “To experience the depth of feeling for Inuit culture and art which is palpable in this exhibit was
moving in a way I had not anticipated.”

Why would a small local museum design a comprehensive exhibit of works undoubtedly unknown to most of its visitors? “One of the goals of our
exhibits mission is to introduce the community and region to unique art experiences. Another is to feature local collections. In this case, we were
able to do both,” says Janice Currier, the Loveland Museum/Gallery’s Curator of Exhibits. Currier lived in the Arctic for fifteen years and is well
acquainted with Inuit culture and its long struggle for survival. “We were pleased to discover Dr. Wagonfeld’s interest and commitment to Inuit art
and culture, and appreciate his willingness to share his collection with the community.”

Dr. Wagonfeld will present a gallery tour and illustrated lecture on Inuit art in the Foote Gallery at the Loveland Museum on Sunday, September 12,
at 1:00 p.m.

The exhibition continues through October 3 2004. The Loveland Museum/Gallery is located in downtown Loveland at Fifth and Lincoln. Hours are:
Tuesday-Friday, 10-5; Thursday evenings until 9; Saturday 10-4; Sunday 12-4.



Loveland Museum/Gallery hosts an exhibit examining Western influence on Inuit art.  
By Laura McWilliams / Rocky Mountain News
Original article

In his introduction to the show Survival: Inuit Art, Denver psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Wagonfeld describes his first experience with Inuit art as a “chance
visit to a gallery ‘north of the border.’” He adds, “The freshness of the strange and bold images, their imagination and wonderful appeal were
different from traditional Western art and captivated me.” His Inuit art collection, one Wagonfeld began after this chance encounter is on view in a
beautiful exhibit at the Loveland Museum/Gallery.

The Inuit are a people who have lived for thousands of years in a circumpolar region stretching from Siberia around the globe to Greenland.
Survival examines the art and culture of the Central Canadian Inuit.

The Canadian Inuit were until very recently a nomadic people living in small hunting bands. Contact with European explorers as early as the 16th
century affected Inuit culture and traditions as explorers, traders and missionaries brought with them useful materials such as metal and wood but
also introduced foreign diseases, money and trade into the traditionally subsistence economy.

Still, many Inuit continued to follow traditional ways until the 1950s, when changes in caribou migration routes and an ebb in the fur trade led to a
time of mass starvation and death among the people. The Canadian government stepped in to offer humanitarian assistance, resettling Inuit
groups in permanent villages throughout Canada. The government built churches, schools and houses, and administered social welfare programs.
It also introduced trades such as printmaking to many communities as a means of economic independence.
This period in the 1950s is the beginning of what Wagonfeld refers to as “a golden age” of contemporary Inuit art.

I expected this show to be strong on history and to emphasize traditional artistic styles and methods. The Loveland Museum/Gallery does a good
job of presenting a condensed version of modern Inuit history (if you’re interested, be sure to look through the show’s catalog). But I was surprised
by the wide variety of styles on view in the show. The exhibit consists of drawings, carvings, wall hangings and prints. The pieces are beautiful and
range from austere and simple prints to complex symbolic drawings and sculptural objects.
In addition, the earliest works differ greatly from more recent art. The earliest pieces are largely free from connections to Western art, but the more
recent Inuit art includes many subtle and not-so-subtle references to European systems of representation.
Much of the earliest prints, drawings and carvings in Survival illustrate a way of life that ended with the resettlement. The Inuit who lived through the
starvation period of the 1950s and the move to villages often idealized the lives they left behind, depicting bountiful lands and effortless hunts.

Drawings and prints by Luke Anguhadluq (1895-1982) depict a subsistence existence. His works include pictures of swimming caribou, hunters in
kayaks and fishers with fish. Anguhadluq turned the paper as he worked, conflating time, space and perspective as he strove to describe an image.

Kiakshuk (1886-1966) is described by the show’s catalog as “a well-known storyteller in the community” who “became highly respected for his
ability to translate oral history, tales of the hunt, of animals, family life, or shamans and spirits, into graphic media.” His “Hunting Seals and Polar
Bears” nearly takes the form of a manual for Inuit hunters. The flat graphite drawing shows diagrammatic images of a hunter trapping and spearing
a polar bear and fishing a seal out of an ice hole. His stonecut print, “Hunting Whales,” from 1961, depicts five large blue whales pursued by two
kayaks and one larger boat. This is a view of an idyllic land of plenty in which animals nearly outnumber Inuit and the hunting is easy and clean.
In contrast to the older generation, many younger artists make work that depicts stories passed on through generations by a strong oral tradition.
Much of this work illustrates shamanistic myths, Inuit legends or historic stories.

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (b. 1930) is, according to the gallery’s artist description, “one of the best known Canadian Inuit artists of her generation.”
Her simple drawings are retellings of Inuit myths and legends. “Brother Moon/Sister Sun” presents an illustration of a creation myth and incest
taboo that describes the formation of the sun and the moon. The story runs from the paper’s bottom left corner and ends at the top, describing a
legend in which a girl is kissed by a stranger in the dark. When she discovers that the stranger is her brother, the two flee in shame into the sky to
become Sister Sun and Brother Moon.

Kenojuak Ashevak (b. 1927) uses animal shapes as vessels for her explorations of line, color and positive and negative space. “Bird with
Feathers” presents a legless bird surrounded by its own flowing, red-tipped, bulbous feathers. The bird shape is filled with obsessive, regular
scribbles that give form to the animal and which also serve to shade and highlight the rounded creature. The image is beautifully balanced with the
negative space of the white paper, and the delicate lines counteract the heavily geometric bird-and-feather form.

The drawings, prints and sculptures in this exhibit are enchanting and beautiful, and the formal choices of artists such as Anguhadluq and Ashevak
are delightfully innovative. But it is the dichotomy of Inuit/European that is most intriguing. The clear Western influence evident in much of the work
(English titles and captions, occasional attempts at realism and perspective) conflicts with the Inuit culture that is the exhibit’s subject matter.

This exhibit includes a nice variety of subjects and styles, and presents artwork from a large number of artists. It teaches a bit about Inuit history
and culture while allowing viewers to enjoy a truly gorgeous art show.


A Collection Carved in Stone

In the mid-1960’s the Toronto-Dominion Bank embarked on a groundbreaking project that would ultimately create the most complete collection of Inuit art in existence to that date. The collection is a source of national pride as this indigenous art form holds a significant place in the Canadian identity.


Inuit Modern Art


The exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario will feature Esther and Samuel Sarick collection, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Inuit art. Inuit Modern traces the transformation of 20th-century Inuit art and features more than 175 works by 75 artists, including sculptures, prints and drawings


Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection


Inuit Modern is a sprawling exhibition that displays for the first time highlights from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Inuit art.

The exhibition traces the transformation of Inuit art in the 20th century and features more than 175 works by 75 artists — including sculpture, prints, and drawings.

Curated by Gerald McMaster, the AGO’s Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, and co-curated by Ingo Hessel, Inuit Modern draws from multiple communities and periods to embrace voices both traditional and contemporary in its consideration of the history and future of Inuit art, and closely examines how the Inuit have coped with and responded to the swift transition from a traditional lifestyle to one marked by the disturbing complexities of globalization and climate change. Featuring work by many of the most prominent Inuit artists of the 20th century, including David Ruben Piqtoukun, Kenojuak Ashevak, Karoo Ashevak, Annie Pootoogook, and Lucy Tasseor, at the heart of Inuit Modern lies a powerful message of social, political, and cultural transformation.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 272-page colour catalogue co-published by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Douglas & McIntyre Inc, which includes contributions by leading Canadian scholars in the field. The catalogue, also titled Inuit Modern, is edited by McMaster and available at shopAGO for $55.

Inuit Modern is generously supported by the J.P. Bickell Foundation and is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.


The Inuit Art Foundation terminated March 31, 2012, after 27 years of operation.


Below is a press release explaining the reasons for its closure and some recent video footage, which provides a good  picture of what the foundation was all about.


Concluding that it is no longer viable, the directors of the Inuit Art Foundation are in the process of dissolving the organization.

 Rather than taking the risk of going bankrupt, the directors made the decision to dissolve the organization while funds remained to do so in an orderly way.

 As Vice-President Okpik Pitseolak said: “We’ve done what we can. It is time to stop.”

The foundation has been providing professional development services to Inuit artists for over a quarter of a century . Its most visible activity is the publication of the Inuit Art Quarterly, the only magazine in the world dedicated to Inuit art.

A registered charitable organization, the foundation’s funding consisted of a mix of government grants, cost recoveries and private sector donations. In spite of the best efforts of the small Ottawa-based staff (varying, but typically four or five full-time people), revenues simply failed to keep pace with expenses. Calling it “a solemn occasion,” President Mattiusi Iyaituk said: “We cannot continue. We have seen for several years what has been happening. Our financial instability leaves us with no choice.”

Executive Director Marybelle Mitchell said: “We have had to face the fact that we have stretched our resources to the maximum. Rising expenses have meant that we can barely keep up with core programs, let alone initiate any new projects. We have been losing ground over the past few years.”

Nonetheless, the directors stress that the foundation should be viewed as a success story. There is sadness, of course, in dismantling something we have worked so hard to build up, but we have accomplished much of what we set out to do. In fact, given the scant resources available to us, what we have done is remarkable.

We are grateful to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for making it possible for Inuit artists to become directors of the only national Inuit Arts Service organization in Canada. We also extend our thanks to IAQ subscribers worldwide and to the many private donors and the handful of committed volunteers who provided invaluable resources and support over many years.

It is gratifying to see that other agencies are now picking up on some Inuit Art Foundation initiatives. As we finish up projects and wind down our affairs, we have reason to believe that our resource materials will be transferred to other organizations that will not only conserve, but find ways to use them. The terrain may change, but the wheel has been set in motion and will travel paths unforeseen. As for us, we’ve had a good run.

The end @ copyright 2012-05-29