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Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian

Photographer:
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952  Search this
Extent:
96 Photomechanical prints (photogravure proofs)
184 Printing plates (copper printing plates)
Culture:
Twana  Search this
Hoh  Search this
Walla Walla (Wallawalla)  Search this
Wishram  Search this
Suquamish  Search this
Skokomish  Search this
Quinault  Search this
Quileute  Search this
Apache  Search this
Tolowa  Search this
Hupa  Search this
Hopi Pueblo  Search this
Squaxon  Search this
Mewuk (Miwok)  Search this
Achomawi (Pit River)  Search this
Klamath  Search this
Yurok  Search this
Kumeyaay (Diegueño)  Search this
Cayuse  Search this
Northern Paiute (Paviotso)  Search this
Santa Ysabel (Santa Isabela) Diegueño  Search this
Kalispel (Pend d'Oreilles)  Search this
Salish (Flathead)  Search this
Spokan  Search this
Yakama (Yakima)  Search this
Sahnish (Arikara)  Search this
Numakiki (Mandan)  Search this
Pikuni Blackfeet (Piegan)  Search this
Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Cheyenne)  Search this
Sicangu Lakota (Brulé Sioux)  Search this
Niimíipuu (Nez Perce)  Search this
A'aninin (Gros Ventre)  Search this
Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke)  Search this
Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee)  Search this
Kainai Blackfoot (Kainah/Blood)  Search this
Denésoliné (Chipewyan)  Search this
Cree  Search this
Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo)  Search this
San Ildefonso Pueblo  Search this
Tewa Pueblos  Search this
A:shiwi (Zuni)  Search this
Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo)  Search this
K'apovi (Santa Clara Pueblo)  Search this
Laguna Pueblo  Search this
Jemez Pueblo  Search this
Serrano  Search this
Washoe (Washo)  Search this
Kutzadika'a (Mono Paiute)  Search this
Kupangaxwichem (Kupa/Cupeño)  Search this
Piipaash (Maricopa)  Search this
Diné (Navajo)  Search this
Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux)  Search this
Quechan (Yuma/Cuchan)  Search this
Hualapai (Walapai)  Search this
Akimel O'odham (Pima)  Search this
Tohono O'odham (Papago)  Search this
Mojave (Mohave)  Search this
Niuam (Comanche)  Search this
Wichita  Search this
Ponca  Search this
Osage  Search this
Yokuts  Search this
Chukchansi Yokuts  Search this
Southern Mewuk (Southern Miwok)  Search this
Wailaki  Search this
Pomo  Search this
Wappo  Search this
Maidu  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photomechanical prints
Printing plates
Photogravures
Photographs
Date:
1899-1927
circa 1980
Summary:
The Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian include photogravure printing plates and associated proofs made from Curtis photographs and used in the publication of The North American Indian volumes 1-9 and 12-19. The bulk of the images are portraits, though there are also images of everyday items, ceremonial artifacts, and camps.
Scope and Contents:
The collection comprises 183 photogravure plates (101 folio and 82 octavo) and 96 associated proofs used in the printing of The North American Indian volumes 1-9 and 12-19. The original photographs used to make the photogravures were made circa 1903-1926 and the photogravure plates were made in 1907-1930. The bulk are portraits, though there are also images of everyday items, ceremonial artifacts, and camps. About half of the proofs in the collection are originals used for Curtis's publication, though the collection also includes proofs made in the process of later publication by the Classic Gravure Company (circa 1980). Vintage proofs include handwritten notes, likely made by Curtis Studio employees in Seattle and Los Angeles. Many of the photogravure plates do not have matching proofs; in particular, there are no proofs for the octavo plates.
Arrangement:
The plates and proofs are arranged by the volume of The North American Indian in which they were published. They are described in this finding aid by the caption and plate number with which they were published.
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) was an American photographer best known for his monumental and now-controversial project, the twenty-volume publication The North American Indian. Here he sought to document in words and pictures the "vanishing race" of American Indians.

Born in Wisconsin in 1868, Edward Curtis grew up on his family's farm in Le Sueur County, Minnesota, from 1874 to 1887. In 1887, he and his father Johnson Curtis settled on a plot near what is now Port Orchard, Washington, and the rest of the family joined them the following year. When Johnson Curtis died within a month of the family's arrival, the burden of providing for his mother and siblings fell to 20-year-old Edward, and Edward set out to do so through his photography. In 1891, Curtis moved to the booming city of Seattle and bought into a joint photo studio with Rasmus Rothi. Less than a year later, he formed "Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers" with Thomas Guptill; the enterprise quickly became a premier portrait studio for Seattle's elite. In 1895, Curtis made his first "Indian photograph" depicting Princess Angeline, daughter of the chief for whom Seattle had been named. The following year he earned his first medal from the National Photographic Convention for his "genre studies."

In 1899, Edward Curtis joined the Harriman Alaska Expedition as official photographer, a position which allowed him to learn from anthropologists C. Hart Merriam and George Bird Grinnell while documenting the landscapes and peoples of the Alaskan coast. This expedition and the resulting friendship with Grinnell helped to foster Curtis's ultimate goal to "form a comprehensive and permanent record of all the important tribes of the United States and Alaska that still retain to a considerable degree their primitive customs and traditions" (General Introduction, The North American Indian). Curtis made several trips to reservations from 1900 to 1904, including a trip with Grinnell to Montana in 1900 and multiple trips to the Southwest, including the Hopi Reservation. He also hired Adolph Muhr, former assistant to Omaha photographer Frank A. Rinehart, to manage the Curtis studio in his absence, a decision which would prove more and more fruitful as Curtis spent less and less time in Seattle.

In 1906, Curtis struck a deal with financier J. P. Morgan, whereby Morgan would support a company – The North American Indian, Inc. – with $15,000 for five years, by which time the project was expected to have ended. Systematic fieldwork for the publication began in earnest that summer season, with Curtis accompanied by a team of ethnological researchers and American Indian assistants. Arguably the most important member of Curtis' field team was William Myers, a former newspaperman who collected much of the ethnological data and completed most of the writing for the project. The first volume, covering Navajo and Apache peoples, was published at the end of 1907, but already Morgan's funding was incapable of meeting Curtis's needs. Despite heaping praise from society's elite, Curtis spent much of his time struggling to find people and institutions willing to subscribe to the expensive set of volumes. After the initial five years, only eight of the proposed twenty volumes had been completed. Fieldwork and publication continued with the support of J. P. Morgan, but Curtis's home life suffered because of his prolonged absences.

In 1919, Curtis's wife Clara was awarded a divorce settlement which included the entire Curtis studio in Seattle. Exhausted and bankrupt, Edward Curtis moved with his daughter Beth Magnuson to Los Angeles, where they operated a new Curtis Studio and continued work on the volumes; volume 12 was published in 1922. The constant financial strain forced Myers to leave the North American Indian team after volume 18 (fieldwork in 1926) and Curtis made his last trip to photograph and gather data for volume 20 in 1927. After the final volumes were published in 1930, Curtis almost completely faded from public notice until his work was "rediscovered" and popularized in the 1970s.

Curtis's "salvage ethnology," as scholar Mick Gidley describes it, was mildly controversial even during his life and has become ever more so as his legacy deepens. In his quest to photograph pre-colonial Indian life through a twentieth-century lens, he often manipulated and constructed history as much as he recorded it: he staged reenactments, added props, and removed evidence of twentieth-century influences on "primitive" life. Curtis's work continues to shape popular conceptions of American Indians and so, while problematic, his legacy--his vision of American Indian life--continues to be relevant.
Related Materials:
NMAI also holds Edward Curtis photographs documenting the Harriman Expedition (1899) as well as platinum prints and photogravures of the images published in The North American Indian.

The Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives holds Edward Curtis prints submitted for copyright (Photo Lot 59) as well as many of his original negatives, photographs, and papers.

Steve Kern donated photogravure plates to the Center for Creative Photography and the Seattle Art Museum at the same time that he donated this set to MAI.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Steven and Arlene Kern to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, in 1984.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Pictorial works  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photogravures
Photographs
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.080
See more items in:
Edward S. Curtis photogravure plates and proofs for The North American Indian
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv47bb7e1cf-cd0f-42a1-ac5b-8ee402c1ab8f
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-080
Online Media:

Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923)

Collection Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Extent:
1 Negatives (photographic)
Culture:
Tachi Yokuts  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Negatives (photographic)
Date:
1923 September-October
Scope and Contents:
Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923), Tachi Yokuts, about 80 years old, building a tule rush boat in a farm-like setting. The photo may have been taken at the Ventura County Fair, where Bautista was employed to demonstrate boat and house building.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Some images restriced: Cultural Sensitivity.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Peabody Harrington photographs from California, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.040, File N08972
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California / Series 1: Ventura County Fair
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv4c5524b62-97a4-4817-8038-b02a6aa4a34b
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-001-040-ref16

Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923)

Collection Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Extent:
1 Negatives (photographic)
Culture:
Tachi Yokuts  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Negatives (photographic)
Date:
1923 September-October
Scope and Contents:
Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923), Tachi Yokuts, about 80 years old, building a tule rush boat in a farm-like setting. The photo may have been taken at the Ventura County Fair, where Bautista was employed to demonstrate boat and house building.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Some images restriced: Cultural Sensitivity.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Peabody Harrington photographs from California, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.040, File N08973
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California / Series 1: Ventura County Fair
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv4fea36740-0c23-480e-a23e-dcdbcd94b780
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-001-040-ref17

Tule rush boat

Collection Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Extent:
1 Negatives (photographic)
Culture:
Tachi Yokuts  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Negatives (photographic)
Date:
1923 September-October
Scope and Contents:
Tule rush boat made by Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923), on a lake at mouth of Ventura river, with one man rowing, and a boy passenger.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Some images restriced: Cultural Sensitivity.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Peabody Harrington photographs from California, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.040, File N08974
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California / Series 1: Ventura County Fair
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv4a523c9b0-b551-4afb-84b1-4450e05a75fd
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-001-040-ref18

Tule rush boat

Collection Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Extent:
1 Negatives (photographic)
Culture:
Tachi Yokuts  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Negatives (photographic)
Date:
1923 September-October
Scope and Contents:
Tule rush boat made by Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923), on a lake at mouth of Ventura river, with one man rowing, and a boy passenger. Dock with people in background.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Some images restriced: Cultural Sensitivity.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Peabody Harrington photographs from California, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.040, File N08975
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California / Series 1: Ventura County Fair
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv49ce216c3-b94e-4758-856c-bf9e6a836b50
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-001-040-ref19

Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923)

Collection Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Extent:
1 Photographic print
Culture:
Tachi Yokuts  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Date:
circa 1920
Scope and Contents:
Studio portrait of Bob Bautista (Trehlawat/Trex' Lawat, ca. 1843-1923), posed in a feather headdress, necklace with silver(?) disks, thin beaded or woven shoulder bandolier, a beaded apron with waistband, and wrist ornaments. he is posed among various baskets (one of which appears to contain peppers), on a rug or animal hide, in front of a tasseled drape hung from a planked wall.
Collection Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Some images restriced: Cultural Sensitivity.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Peabody Harrington photographs from California, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.040, File P28107
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California / Series 1: Ventura County Fair
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv433e842d5-08dc-4b51-86c6-3f76606fd20d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-001-040-ref20

John Peabody Harrington photographs from California

Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Former owner:
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation  Search this
Names:
Bautista, Bob, c.1843-1923  Search this
Heye, George G. (George Gustav), 1874-1957  Search this
Heye, Thea  Search this
Extent:
17 Negatives (photographic)
16 Photographic prints
2 Copy negatives
Culture:
Chumash  Search this
Tachi Yokuts  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Negatives (photographic)
Photographic prints
Copy negatives
Place:
Santa Barbara -- California -- archeology
Ventura County (Calif.)
Santa Barbara (Calif.)
Date:
1923
Summary:
Negatives and photographic prints taken by John Peabody Harrington in Santa Barbara and Ventura County, California in 1923. John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961) was an ethnologist and linguist who specialized in the Native peoples of California and served with the U.S. Bureau of American Ethnology from 1915 to 1955. Beyond his efforts to document innumerable Native languages, Harrington also collected objects for the Bureau of Ethnology and on his own. Photographs in this collection accompanied the objects he sold to or collected for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Scope and Contents:
The John Peabody Harrington photographs from California include negatives and photographic prints taken in 1923 by Harrington while in the field. All of the negatives were taken at the Ventura County fair in the fall of 1923. These photographs depict a group of Chumash men building a grass lodge, organized by J.P. Harrington, as well as Bob Bautista, a Tachi Yokuts man, demonstrating traditional boat and house building. George Gustav Heye is pictured in several shots while the Chumash grass lodge is being built. Prints [P11568-P11572] were made from the aforementioned negatives. There is also one copy negative made from one of the subsequent prints.

The remainder of the photographic prints in this collection were taken during the Burton Mound expedition, funded by Thea Heye and led by John Peabody Harrington in 1923. Photographs taken by Harrington show workers excavating the mound as well images of the mound itself. There are four additional photographs from Burton Mound that were not taken by Harrington. These include an image Of J.P Harrington, D.B. Rogers and George W. Bayley standing with excavated materials. Some of these photographs have been restricted due to cultural sensitivity.
Arrangement:
Physically arranged by catalog number. Negatives: N08762-N08766, N08964-N08975, N35868, N36678. Prints: P06039, P05564-P05566, P09497-P09502, P11568-P11572, P28107.
Biographical / Historical:
John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961) was an ethnologist and linguist employed by the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) for forty years, from 1915 to 1955. He came to the Smithsonian after training at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. He became interested in Native American languages upon meeting historically renowned anthropologist A. L. Kroeber. J. P. Harrington was reportedly fluent in nine international languages and eighteen Native American languages.

In 1923, the Museum of the American Indian, Heye foundation provided funding for J.P. Harrington to lead an expedition in Santa Barbara, California to excavate the Burton Mound.

Additional information on John Peabody Harrington can be found on the National Anthropological Archives' website, home to his collection.
Related Materials:
Archaeological materials excavated from Burton Mound can be found in NMAI's archaeological collection. For more information on these object please contact NMAICollections@si.edu.
Provenance:
The negatives were acquired from John Peabody Harrington by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation shortly after they were taken in 1923. It is likely that prints [P11568-P11572] were made from the negatives some time in the 1930s. Prints from Burton Mound [P09497-P09502] were cataloged by the MAI in 1929 though the additional Burton Mound prints arrived with the collection in 1923. The provenance of P06039 and P28107 is unknown.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Some images restriced: Cultural Sensitivity.
Rights:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiphotos@si.edu. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Topic:
Mounds -- California -- Santa Barbara  Search this
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Peabody Harrington photographs from California, Photo Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001.040
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington photographs from California
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sv4dbae27d1-eb1f-4a81-9416-bdecb8b03a9e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-001-040
Online Media:

Basket bowl

Culture/People:
Yokuts  Search this
Possible collector:
Joseph Kossuth Dixon (Joseph K. Dixon), Non-Indian, 1856-1926  Search this
Previous owner:
Joseph Kossuth Dixon (Joseph K. Dixon), Non-Indian, 1856-1926  Search this
Edith R. Dixon (Edith Sloane Reid/Mrs. Joseph Kossuth Dixon), Non-Indian, 1891-1969  Search this
Seller:
Edith R. Dixon (Edith Sloane Reid/Mrs. Joseph Kossuth Dixon), Non-Indian, 1891-1969  Search this
Object Name:
Basket bowl
Media/Materials:
Grass, sedge root, bracken fern root, redbud
Techniques:
Coiled
Object Type:
Containers and Vessels
Place:
Central California; California; USA (inferred)
Catalog Number:
15/6868
Barcode:
156868.000
See related items:
Yokuts
Containers and Vessels
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ws6b8614d1e-95d7-402d-b802-2a1581352087
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:NMAI_168206
Online Media:

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