This collection contains 54 photographs that were shot by amateur photographer John M. Kauffmann in 1955. The photographs depict Dewey Beard (also known as Iron Hail and Wasu Maza) and the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 54 photographs (53 negatives and 1 gelatin silver print) that were shot by amateur photographer John M. Kauffmann in 1955 in South Dakota. Kauffmann accompanied his photographer friend Bates Littlehales, who was on assignment to illustrate a National Geographic article authored by Leland Case about the Black Hills of South Dakota. Littlehales invited Kauffmann to join him on his assignment, so that Kauffmann could practice his photography.
The collection contains two series. Series 1 contains photos that depict the interview with Dewey Beard (also known as Iron Hail and Wasu Maza) that was conducted by Leland Case on June 18, 1955 at the Alex Johnson Hotel, Rapid City, South Dakota. At the time of the interview, Dewey Beard was the last Sioux survivor of the Battle of Big Horn. Series 2 contains photographs shot around the Black Hills of South Dakota and includes depictions of Leland Case, possibly Bates Littlehales, and other unidentified people on horseback; exploring landscapes and caves; and looking at tree rings.
Kauffmann used a Rolleiflex medium format camera to photograph the images in this collection. Leland Bates' National Geographic article was published in the October 1956, vol. CX, no. 4 issue.
Negatives arranged in a box and photograph arranged in a folder.
Biographical / Historical:
John M. Kauffmann grew up in Washington, DC and graduated from Princeton University. He worked for the National Park Service for many years serving in Washington, DC and Alaska. His work led to the conservation of 100 million acres through the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. He also played a vital role in the creation of the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. He passed away on November 16, 2014 at the age of 91.
Dewey Beard, also known as Wasu Maza or Iron Hail, was a member of the Minneconjou Lakota (Minniconjou Sioux) tribe and was the last known survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn. He was also present during the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, where many of his family members were killed and he was wounded. Born in 1858, Wasu Maza changed his name to Dewey Beard when he converted to Roman Catholicism. For 15 years, he also was a member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He died in November 1955 at age 96.
The Library of Congress has the recorded interview with Dewey Beardthat took place on 18, 1955 at the Alex Johnson Hotel, Rapid City, South Dakota.
Gift of John M. Kauffmann, 1999.
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Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John M. Kauffmann photographs of Dewey Beard, image #, NMAI.AC.225; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.