The collection consists of a copy of a studio portrait of Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca Chiefs with wampum belts, made on September 14, 1871, for Horatio Hale. Includes Joseph Snow (Hahriron), Onondaga Chief; George H. M. Johnson (Deyonhehgon), Mohawk chief, government interpreter and son of John Smoke Johnson; John Buck (Skanawatih), Onondaga chief and hereditary keeper of the wampum; John Smoke Johnson (Sakayenkwaraton), Mohawk chief and speaker of the council; Isaac Hill (Kawenenseronton), Onondaga chief and fire keeper; John Seneca Johnson (Kanonkeredawih), Seneca chief.
Horatio Emmons Hale (1817-1896) was an American-Canadian philologist, ethnologist, author, and businessman who studied Native American languages. He published the Iroquois Book of Rites in 1883, which documented the history and rituals of the Iroquois Confederacy based on interpretations of the group's wampum belts. In September 1871, he requested that six Iroquois chiefs, with whom he had worked on the wampum belts, come to the Brantford, Ontario, studio of James N. Edy, where this photograph was made.
Hale later sent the photograph to his colleagues with variations on the following inscription: "The wampum belts were explained to me on the reserve, at the residence of Chief G. H. M. Johnson; and at my request the chiefs afterwards came with me to Brantford, where the original photograph . . . was taken.--H. Hale, Clinton, Ont." The photograph from which this copy print was made originally belonged to J. N. B. Hewitt.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 86-58
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional James N. Edy photographs can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4751 and the BAE historical negatives.
Vocabularies and correspondence by Horatio Hale can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 7235, MS 7236, MS 4558, MS 772-c, MS 4797, MS 4800, MS 7439, MS 7440, MS 7441, MS 3436, MS 1072, the Bureau of American Ethnology Letters Received, and the J.C. Pilling Papers.
Informal photographic portraits depicting Iroquois, Seminole, and other Native American people. Images document the preparation of fry bread, a lacrosse player, a corn-husk doll maker, an Iroquois dancer, a longhouse wedding party, a Seneca wood carver making a water drum, a Seneca basketmaker, and a Seneca flute maker.
Richard W. Hill, Sr. is a Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, curator, and museum consultant. He studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and earned a masters degree from the State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic and SUNY Buffalo, and he served as director of the American Indian Art Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was also Assistant Director for Public Programs and an exhibition catalog writer for the National Museum of the American Indian. Hill's artwork includes photography, painting, carving, beading, and basketweaving.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 83-35
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The Canadian Museum of Civilizations in Quebec, the Woodland Indian Cultural Center in Brantford, Ontario, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board in Washington, DC, and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca, New York, hold artwork by Hill.
Photographs documenting Iroquois people made circa 1897-circa 1937 on and near the Six Nations Reserve by J.N.B. Hewitt, linguist with the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology.
Scope and Contents note:
Hewitt's photos primarily depict Mohawk, Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga, Tuscarora, Oneida, and Tutelo peoples. There are also a few images of Iroquois houses and other structures, Hewitt's mask collection, and Onondaga Chief John Buck and family, Seneca Chief John Arthur Gibson and family, Cayuga Chief James Jamieson and family, and Cayuga-Seneca Chief Simeon Gibson. Most of the photographs were taken during several trips between 1897 and 1937, on and near the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario (Oshweken, Deseronto, and Brantsford), and New York (Niagara Falls, Nedrow, and Syracuse).
For Photo Lot 155 Hewitt's original arrangement and numbering has been maintained. The order of the photographs does not follow the chronology that they were taken; for instance there are often several photographs of an individual that were clearly made in different years. The original negatives also represent a variety of film and camera types.
The arrangement and numbering for MS 4596, established at an unknown time, was maintained.
J.N.B. (John Napoleon Brinton) Hewitt (December 6, 1859-October 14, 1937) was a linguist and ethnographer who specialized in Iroquoian and other Native American languages. Born on the Tuscarora Reservation near Lewiston, New York, his mother was of Tuscarora, French, Oneida, and Scottish descent. His father's heritage was English and Scottish, but he was raised in a Tuscarora family. Hewitt spoke English growing up, but when he left the reservation to attend schools in Wilson and Lockport, he learned to speak the Tuscarora language from other students. Hewitt grew up planning to become a physician, like his father. However, the course of Hewitt's interests changed when, in 1880, he was hired by Erminnie A. Smith of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology (now the Bureau of American Ethnology) as an assistant ethnologist tasked with collecting myths among the Iroquoian tribes of New York. He continued this work from 1880-1884, and then was briefly employed by the Jersey City Railways Co. (1884-1885) and Adams Express Co. (1885-1886). Upon Smith's death in 1886, Hewitt returned to the BAE to continue her work, remaining employed there until his death.
Over the course of his career, Hewitt became the leading authority on the organization of the Iroquois League and the ceremonials, customs, and usages of the tribes composing it. He acquired an intimate knowledge of the languages of the League, including a speaking knowledge of Mohawk and Onondaga, and also became acquainted with several Algonquian dialects. On February 28, 1914, in recognition of his services in preserving for posterity a knowledge of the history and ethnology of the Iroquoian people of New York state, he was awarded the Cornplanter medal for Iroquois Research.
Additionally, he was a founder of the American Anthropological Association and an active member of the Anthropological Society of Washington and the American Museum of Natural History, serving as both treasurer (1912-1926) and president (1932-1934) of the latter. Hewitt also contributed over one hundred articles for the Handbook of American Indians (Bulletin 30) and published the two volume Iroquoian Cosmology (1903 and 1928).