Group of Men in Dance Costume Dancing Around Sun Dance Pole with Cords Piercing Flesh of Chests And Attached to Pole; One Man Dragging Buffalo Skulls Attached to Flesh in Back; Non-Native Soldiers and Group in Native Dress Watching
NAA MS.MS 4605
Photo of Painting by James Earl Taylor in 1881
Black and white Photoprint on Paper Mount in Album
The collection consists of sixteen (16) drawings in a commercial exercise book. The book had been sewn into a second cover prior to its acquisition by the Smithsonian. This second cover was removed and the book was rebound. The second cover has been retained.
The drawings depict hunting, courtship, dance, social gatherings, Indian scouts, mounted and dismounted warriors, and part of the Kiowa Sun Dance. The inside of the front cover is inscribed:
"Capt Pratt U.S.A."
"Work by Indians"
"By the Indians incarcerated in Fort Marion St. Augustine Florida in 1876" "Engaged in the Custer Massacre"
"Care of Capt Pratt in charge assisted by the following ladies-- Mrs Linethurst, Mrs Gibbs - Mrs S'- Mother St Augustine, Mrs Kingsly Gibbs - aunt, Mrs Valentine - Phila, Miss Reed"
"Carlisle was the outcome of Capt Pratt's efforts assisted by Mrs Kingsly Gibbs of St Augustine"
The back cover is inscribed:
"Works of the Indians while in prison in Fort Marion St Augustine Florida-- After the Custer Massacre in care of Capt Pratt-- The founder of Carlisle-- These Indians finally taken there for housing and taming--by the Government-- under the care of Capt Pratt USA"
In addition to the inscription, the back cover bears the image of a man wearing a breechcloth, which was scratched into its surface. The name "ZOTOM" appears in stencil block letters on the back cover and the inside of the front cover. Although Zotom was a noted Kiowa artist, it is not clear that he is responsible for the drawings. Candace Greene notes that they are unlike his later work and early documented examples of his drawing style have not been identified.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Fort Marion, also known as Castillo de San Marco, is a stone fortress in St. Augustine, Florida. Between 1875 and 1878, seventy-two prisoners from the southern plains were incarcerated in the fort. Captain Richard Pratt supervised the prisoners during their incarceration at Fort Marion. The prisoners consisted of 27 Kiowas, 33 Cheyennes, 9 Comanches, 2 Arapahos, and a single Caddo. With the exception of one Cheyenne woman, all the prisoners were men. They had been accused of participating in the recent Red River War, earlier hostilities, or both. With the exception of the wife and daughter of one of the Comanche men, the prisoners families were not allowed to accompany them to Fort Marion.
MS 98-54 000
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Works of art
MS 1998-54 Exercise book containing drawings by an anonymous Kiowa artist, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Buffalo dance (Kiowa)--Lullaby (Flathead)---Cermonial rain song (Wichita)--Girl's Puberty song (Washo)--Flute Love Song (Siuox)--Stealing song (Trot-Horse)--Raid song (Comanche)--War Dance (Kiowa)--Christian hymn (Comanche)--Sun Dance (Kiowa)--Rabbit dance (Sioux)--Quail dance (Cherokee)--Mocassin game (Winnebago)--Counting song (Creek)--Flute melody (Chippewa)--Ribbon dance (Creek)--War song (Winnebgo)--Christian hyymn (Cherokee)--Stomp dance --Ball game (Creek)
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only.
Moses and Frances Asch Collection, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Florida -- West Palm Beach
Mar 13 1921
Scope and Contents:
9 women and 3 children. 250218F. Photo by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y. Mimeographed label on back gives following: "Seminole Indians Out in Full Regalia for Annual Sun Dance. News Item--Each year West Palm Beach and all its society sojourners experience thr thrill of a sun dance in which Seminole Indians play the leading role. The gaily bedecked squaws dance and otherwise make merry for the fashionable onlookers. The fifth event recently held was the greatest ever put on. This photo clearly shows the type of Seminole Indian that joined in the festivities. Note the peculiar headdress and the many beads worn by them as a sign of wealth and social rank [erroneous]."
"This is a view of the Blackfoot Sun Dance taken in the valley of the Bow River on the Blackfoot Reserve. It was taken by Robert H. Trueman between 1895 and 1899. Trueman was in partnership with Norman Caple from 1889 to 1894 and went into business for himself under the name of R.H. Trueman and Co. in 1895. After 1900 he restricted his activities to British Columbia so by a process of elimination we have a very precise date. Although I cannot be absolutely sure, I presume this is the hide-cutting ritual taking place before the raising of the center pole. Beneath one of the canvas bowers the Holy Woman is probably watching the proceedings. In the center background you can see the framework of the Sun Dance lodge without the center pole." -- Information received from Hugh A. Dempsey, Archivist, Glenbow Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada letter of July 12, 1966.