Each of these incredibly rare and beautiful Native American portraits are of women and girls between the last 1800s and the early 1900s. The images have been well preserved and it gives us a tiny window into the past where we can admire these women, their unique style, and show respect for their lives.
Although Native American women often had different roles than the men they were greatly respected. They often had the same sorts of rights at the men in their tribe which is incredible for the time period.
In some groups, women were the ones who owned the home and property inside. While it was typical for a chief to be male there were some tribes that would have the women select who he would be.
“A lot of people think that us women are not leaders, but we are the heart of the nation, we are the center of our home, and it is us who decide how it will be.”–Philomine Lakota, Lakota language teacher
1. Marcia Pascal, Half-cherokee, Daughter Of U.s. Army Officer George W. Paschal, 1880s
2. O-o-be, The Kiowas, 1894
“Through the late 1700s, Cherokee women were civically engaged. They owned land and had a say during wartime,” writes Astrid Munn in Native Daughters.
3. Native American Girl, 1870-1900
“Treat every woman from the tiniest child to the oldest one with respect at all times. Always treat a woman with honor and consideration.” -Native American Saying
4. Gertrude Three Finger, Cheyenne, 1869-1904, By William E. Irwin
5. Native American Girl In Traditional Dress
“The Old Ones say the Native American women will lead the healing among the tribes. Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the women who sings the songs of strength. She is the backbone of the people. So, to our women we say, sing your songs of strength; pray for your special powers; keep our people strong; be respectful, gentle, and modest.” -Village Wise Man, Lakota
6. Hattie Tom, Apache, 1899, By Frank A. Rinehart
7. Elsie Vance Chestuen, Chiricahua
8. Unidentified Native American Girl, Lakota, 1890
“The honor of the people lies in the moccasin tracks of the woman.” -Native American Saying
9. Cherokee Nanyehi, Lakota
10. A Young Ute Woman, 1880-1900
11. Tsawatenok Girl, 1914, By Edward Curtis
“A people is not defeated until the hearts of its women are on the ground.”– Cheyenne saying
12. Taos Pueblo Tribe Girl, 1880-1890
13. A Kiowa Girl, 1892
14. Lizzie Long Wolf As A Performer In Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, 1886
“The Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way. The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly. A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way. “
15. Hopi Girl, 1895
16. A Girl At Taos Pueblo, 1895, By H.s. Poley
17. Native American Teen Girls, 1870-1900
“A man who looks first to a woman’s outer beauty will never know her beauty divine, for there is dust upon his eyes and he is blind. But a man who sees in a woman the spirit of the Great One and sees her beauty first in spirit and truth, that man will know “Divinity” in that woman.” – White Buffalo Calf Woman
18. Pretty Nose, Cheyenne, 1878, By L. A. Huffman
19. Hopi Girls, 1900, By Carl Werntz
20. Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache, 1899, By Frank A. Rinehart
“I will treat all women as if they were my own female relatives. This is my vow.” – Native American Elders
21. Isabelle Perico Enjady, Chiricahuah Apache Prisoner Of War, 1886-1914
22. Quanah Parker (Nocona), Comanche, 1848-1911
“All women in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator, giver of life and source of all human life they must all be respected. ” -Native American Saying
23. Kiowa Girl, 1890
24. Hopi Girls, 1900, By Frederick Monsen
“The hurt of one woman is the hurt of all women, the honor of one woman is the honor of all women. Show honor and esteem for all women! Consider and treat them with deference or courtesy” -Native American Saying
25. Alice, Unknown Tribe (possibly Cayuse, Walla Walla, Or Umatilla), 1900
26. Inusk, Kickapoo Chief’s Daughter, By Lenny And Jordan, 1880-1890
27. Comanche Girl, 1885
“I will treat women in a sacred manner. The Creator gave women the responsibility for bringing new life into the world. Life is sacred, so I will look upon the women in a sacred manner. ” -Native American Saying
28. Hopi Girl On Her Wedding Day, 1900
29. Julie Nelson, 1886
30. Amie And Carrie, Kiawah, By George A. Addison,1895
“In our traditional ways, the woman is the foundation of the family. I will work with her to create a home atmosphere of respect, security and harmony.” -Native American Saying
31. Na-din-praquai-gizay (ramona)
32. A Yankton Girl
33. Susan Bullock-tibbitts, 1895
34. Comanche Girls, 1880-1889
35. This Arapaho Girl Was The Only Child Saved Out Of Sand Creek Massacre, 1870-1880, By Mckinney, Albert S.
36. Hopi Girls, 1900
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