Friday, March 11, 2011

The Iroquois and Wild West Shows #2

Here is another group of nineteenth century images of Mohawks who may have been involved in the Wild West shows. The beadwork on their clothing is distinctly different from that on my earlier post on this topic. That first group was likely from Akwesasne. Some of the images in this group are identified as coming from Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) and I suspect the beading style here is particular to the Mohawks from that Reserve. All the images below are late nineteenth century cabinet cards.

An old, hand-written note on the back of this image identifies the subjects as Caughnawaga Mohawks.

Identified as Running Antelope, a Caughnawaga Indian sharpshooter. These are the same individuals that are portrayed in the previous image.

Cabinet Card, 4.5 x 6.5 inches. Circa 1890. The individuals depicted are Angus Montour (1851-1928), aka American Horse and his wife Dove Wing. Although American Horse was christened Angus, his Mohawk name was Twanietanekan, meaning the Two Snow Hills. He was a notable Mohawk chief who took part in several European tours with a Wild West Show.  Several years after the death of Dove Wing he was at The Hague, in the Netherlands, with a troupe of Indian entertainers, where he met Johanna Elisabeth van Dommelen. They fell in love and before long they were married. Afterwards he moved back to Kahnawake with his new bride (Altena 2009). Seated beside him in this image is his first wife, Charlotte “Sara” Beauvias, aka Dove Wing. She died in 1902. Photographer: Keethler, from Cynthiana, Kentucky. Private collection.

A beautiful late nineteenth century image - the group is identified on the back as Mohawks.

The young girl in the foreground in holding what was likely a favorite doll. One of the recurring features on their outfits is a prominent bird motif. Several of these images were taken by the same photographer; J. C. Patrick of Coalport, Pennsylvania.

Interesting how this woman has both a rifle and a handgun. She may have been a sharpshooter like Annie Oakley.

Identified on the back as Caughnawaga Mohawks, this group travelled as far as Detroit when they were photographed for this image.

Wearing beautifully beaded collars and cuffs, this Mohawk group was photographed in Kansas.

This is one of the better identified Mohawk images in this group. Her name was Mrs. Marquis and her daughter Kwanentawi. They were from the Kahnawake Reserve near Montreal. Circa 1890.

Another image of Mrs. Marquis and her daughter.

The individuals in this last image were photographed in Palmyra, New Jersey. Take notice of the dancing figures on the man's jacket (detail below). They are remarkable similar to two figures on a beaded Mohawk bag from the same period (see below).

Below is a beaded bag in the collection of the Oneida Indian Nation from central New York.

The figures on the bag are quite similar to those on the man's jacket above.

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