Native Americans

Images of the Native American people - the tribes, their dress, and their lifestyles. See more...

The best way to understand the people who first inhabited North America, Native Americans, is through their own words. The following quotes contain some of the wisdom passed down through generations of experience with the lands that are now called Canada, the United States, and Mexico:

"We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth, it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood...we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear." - Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief, just prior to the Trail of Tears, November 4, 1838

"Upon suffering beyond suffering: the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one." - Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux Chief, said on September 1, 1877, 4 days before he was bayoneted by a U.S. soldier while in custody

"I have heard you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die.” - Satanta, Kiowa Chief

"Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence to the speech-maker and his own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regard for the rule that, "thought comes before speech." - Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief

"Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations." - Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief

"The Earth is the Mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the river to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.” - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

"Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Every one might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation . . . This fear of the Nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact." - George Copway (Kah-ge-ga-bowh) Ojibwa Chief

"In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn . . . all things tell of Tirawa." - Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa) Pawnee

These words describe the lives and principles of Native Americans - their images show their customs and dress.

A photo of Native Americans, place and date unknown, submitted by Marshal Meira. If you would like more information about this photo, please contact the submitter.
Added Sep 17, 2012 by: Marshal Meira
Marshal Meira
4 favorites
Spinning thread on his bare knee, an old witch doctor of the Skenna River Indians who lived in lower Alaska and upper British Columbia.
This is believed to be an image of "Little", a Sioux Lakota Native American who was supposedly involved in the Wounded Knee Massacre. The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29th, 1890 near Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Accounts vary, but essentially the U.S. 7th Cavalry, led by Major Samuel M. Whitside, slaughtered Spotted Elk's band of Lakota Sioux Native Americans (estimated 150 men, women and children).
A photo of a Blackfoot Tepee. Blackfoot Native American, (Bear Bull?) holding horse outside a tipi.
A photo of a group of Shoshoni with their skin tepees.
Added Jan 11, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
450 favorites
Cherokee Miss Ruth Muskrat presenting a survey or census of the Native American peoples entitled "The Red Man" to President Coolidge.
Shown here is Bread, a member of the Native American Crow Nation, also called Absaroka, who originally inhabited the Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana area. Interesting to note, the name of the tribe in the Siouan language is Apsaalooke, which means "children of the large-beaked bird" and was interpreted by translators as "people of the crow". The photo was taken by Curtis.
A photo of Chief Stabbed-by-Nustah (?)--one of the council protesting against change of names of mountains, lakes, rivers and waterfalls in Glacier National Park -- he was of the Blackfeet Tribe
Added Jan 4, 2012 by: Ancient Faces
Ancient Faces
450 favorites
A photo of Washakie, Chief of Shoshones, taken by Rose & Hopkins
Taken around 1899, two Sioux Indians with spears on horseback wearing traditional hunting garments. Heyn, the historical photographer, took a number of Sioux portraits which are available via the Library of Congress.
A photo of Flathead Native Americans (Salish) holding a pre-Christmas family gathering on the west side of Glacier National Park, in the dense forest of evergreen trees that skirt the Rocky Mountains
Iroquois Indians in Buffalo New York in 1914. This was a panoramic photo, put together in two parts, so I split the photo back into two parts. While it is difficult to see the faces, the photo gives a wonderful sense of what life was like for these people. It looks to be the dead of winter. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, William A Drennan
"John Comes Again" in his Sioux Native American ceremonial dance costume taken around 1899.
Full length portrait of "Eagle Bear" - a Native American in full headdress.
A photo of Ruth "Siastenu" Sehome Shelton.
People in this photo:
c. 1857 - Oct 4, 1958 1857 - 1958
Added Jun 21, 2013 by: Char James
Char James
12 favorites
This reenactment of the death of George Armstrong Custer was performed by actors in Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show around 1905.
This is a postcard of an annual pow wow of Blackfoot Indians, taken at a Blackfoot Reservation in Montana. It was never mailed and there is no date on it, but probably in 1910's or 1920's.
My great-great grandmother, Leah Alice Cloud Clark: I'm looking for any information anyone may have. Leah Alice may have gone by Alice and was, according to family lore, Cherokee. She died very young, like in her early 30's in the Nevada, Missouri area.
People in this photo:
c. 1861 - c. July 1893 1861 - 1893
Added Aug 25, 2013 by: Lori Krause
Lori Krause
4 favorites
This striking Native American photo is of Plenty Holes. Plenty Holes (makes me wonder how in the world he got this name) was a member of the Sioux tribe. This portrait of Plenty Holes shows him in his full feather headdress and bone breast piece. Interesting note, Native Americans actually wore feathers in their hair/headdress to keep the sun out of their eyes.
A Crow (or apsaroke / Apsáalooke) Native American war group from the Montana area.
This photo was left by my great aunt, Nina "Lois" Berry Starr Hodgkins. She said it was a BOUDINOT, but may be a STARR or LOWERY/LOWRY/LOWREY
Added Nov 23, 2003 by: Helen Davis
Helen Davis
2 favorites
Doctor/Chief Flying Cloud or Edward Tarwater. See Pearl Gibson's note written on back of the photo, shown.
People in this photo:
1840 - Unknown 1840 - ?
Added Apr 21, 2003 by: Sue Bodishbaugh
Sue Bodishbaugh
661 favorites
Photograph of my great grand mother who was part native american indian.
Added Mar 24, 2014 by: Willis Baldwin
Willis Baldwin
24 favorites
Chief Joseph Quanah Parker of the Nez Perce, Wallowa Band as a young man. He succeeded his father as chief in 1871 and lead the Nez Perce when the U.S. government was trying to force the Nez Perce onto reservation land in Idaho. The struggle between Chief Joseph and the U.S. government lasted many years. He died in 1904 and is buried in the state of Washington. Since he was born between 1840 and 1845 and he looks about 25 or so here, this photo was probably taken sometime around 1870.
People in this photo:
1842 - 1902 1842 - 1902
Added Mar 21, 2012 by: Katherine Smith
Katherine Smith
12 favorites
Unknown photo of what is believed to be a Shoshoni Native American
my wifes great great great grandfather chief jerry running fisher gros vente tribe
Added May 29, 2007 by: Danny Hammack
Danny Hammack
32 favorites
Taken 1900 AZ, a photo of a Mojave Indian scout Picture found in a box belonging to Bessie Lee McLaughlin Brooks(1885-1972) This photo is in the possession of Geraldine (Gerri) Hughes Brown
Added Oct 3, 2006 by: Sue Allen
Sue Allen
990 favorites
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