Edward Sheriff Curtis, North America, Sherman Indian School discussed on Ideas

Ideas
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

In two thousand and three. Thomas King traveled across Canada delivering his Massey lectures called the truth about stories and native narrative. Each talk may start and end with variations of the same stories. But the insights and emotions they contain are varied and complicated. This second lecture looks at the ways. Indigenous people see themselves and have been seen how they represent themselves and are represented. It's all described through the mind and experience of Thomas King. At Cherokee European, writer and photographer, american-born and Ontario based here. He is with your. Not. The Indian had in mind reported at Memorial University in Saint John's in two, thousand and three. Started did you might be sorry? This is the second of the Massey lectures. There's a story I know it's about the earth and how it floats in space on the back of a turtle. I've heard this story many times and each time. Someone tells the story changes. Sometimes it changes simply the voice of the storyteller. Sometimes it changes in the details. Sometimes in the order of events. Other Times. It's the dialogue the response of the audience, but in all the telling of all the tellers, the world never leaves the turtle's back and the. Turtle never swims away. One time it was in less bridge I think. A young boy in the audience asked about the earth the turtle. If the Earth was on the back of the turtle. What was below the Turtle? Another turtle, the storyteller told. And below that? Another turtle. And below that. Colonel. The will began to laugh enjoying the game I imagine so. How many turtles are there? He wanted to know. Storyteller shrugged. No one knows for sure. She told him, but it's turtles all the way down. The, truth about stories is that's all we are. You can't understand the world without telling a story. The unabashed Nabi writer Gerald. vizner tells us there isn't any center to the world but a story. Nine hundred and ninety four I came up with a bright idea of traveling around North America, taking black and white portraits of native artists. For a book Millennium Project actually I figured I'd spend a couple of months each year on the road, traveling to cities and towns and reserves and in Canada and the United States, and when two thousand and rolled around there I'd be with a terrific coffee table book to welcome the next thousand years. I should tell you that I had not come up with this idea on my own. As a matter of fact, Edward Sheriff Curtis had already done it. Photographed Indians that is. Indeed. Curtis is probably the most famous of the Indian photographers. He started this project of photographing the Indians of North America around nineteen hundred, and for the next thirty years he roamed the continent, producing some forty thousand negatives. Which more than twenty two hundred were published. Curtis was fascinated by the idea of the North American Indian was actually obsessed with it. And he was determined to capture that idea that image before it vanished. This was a common concern among intellectuals and artists and social scientists turn of the nineteenth century who believe that while Europeans in the new world were poised on the brink of new adventure. The Indian was poised on the brink of extinction. In literature in the United States this particular span of time is known as the American romantic period, and the Indian was tailor made for it with its emphasis on feeling this interest in nature, it's fascination with exoticism, mysticism, and eroticism, and its preoccupation with the glorification of the past American Romanticism, found in the Indian assemble in which all these concerns could be united. Prior to the nineteenth century, the prevalent image of the Indian had been that of inferior being. The Romantics imagine their Indian is dying, but in that dying in that passed away disappearing from the stage of human progress, there was also. A sense of nobility. One of the favourite narrative strategies was to create a single heroic. Male of course. James. Damore Cooper's Chin Gach Cook John Augusta Stones at Amora Henry Wadsworth long fellows, Hiawatha and Indian, who was the last of his race. Indeed during this period death, nobility were sympathetic ideas that complemented one another and writers during the first half of the nineteenth century. Use Them at close association, Creating Literary Shroud in which to wrap the Indian and bury them. Edgar Allan Poe believed that the most poetic topic in the world was the death of a beautiful woman. For the literature produced during the nineteenth century, second place would have to go to the death of the Indian. Not that Indians were dying. To be sure while many of the tribes who lived along the east coast of North America in the interior of Lower Canada and then the Connecticut, Ohio and Saint Lawrence River Valleys had been injured and disoriented by years of almost continuous warfare by European diseases, and by the destructive push of settlers, cheap land, the vast majority of the tribes were a comfortable distance away from the grave. This was the Indian a fact. Mean eighteen thirty when the American President Andrew Jackson fulfilling an election promise to as western and southern supporters pushed the removal act through Congress. He did so in order to get rid of thousands of Indians particularly the Cherokee the choctaw, the chickasaw, the creeks in the seminal, who were not dying and not particularly interested in going anywhere. These were not the Indians. Curtis went west to find. Curtis was looking for the literary Indian the dying in Indian the imaginative construct, and to make sure that he would find what he wanted to fight. He took a long boxes of Indian Paraphernalia. Wigs blankets painted backdrops clothing in Casey ran into Indians, who did not look as the Indian was supposed to look. I collect postcards old ones new ones. Postcards Depict Indians and Indian subjects high of one from the nineteen twenties that shows an Indian Lacrosse team in Oklahoma. Another is a hand colored rendering of the Sherman Indian School in California. A third is a cartoon of an Indian man fishing in the background. While in the foreground, a tourist takes a picture of the man's wife, and their seven kids with rather purell caption, and what does the chief do when he's not fishing? One of my favorites is a photograph of a group of Indians and full headdresses. Golfing Banff Springs Hotel Golf Course. In one, thousand, nine, hundred three. The photograph was taken by Brian Harman and shows. Jim Brewster in Norman Luxton to banff locals caddying for. We'll looks to be five Indians who are identified only as to stoney Indian chiefs. I like this particular postcard because there's an element of play in the image of Indians beat it outfits and full headdresses leaning on their golf clubs. While their horses graze in the background. And because I can't tell if the person on the T..

Coming up next