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Zitkala Sa, Sioux Indian and activist

Zitkala Sa, Sioux Indian and activist

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Description
In addition to photographing the Sioux performers sent by Buffalo Bill Cody to her studio, Käsebier was able to arrange a portrait session with Zitkala-sa, "Red Bird," also known as Gertrude Simmons (1876-1938), a Yankton Sioux woman of Native American and white ancestry. She was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, like many of the Sioux traveling with the Wild West show. She was educated at reservation schools, the Carlisle Indian School, Earlham College in Indiana, and the Boston Conservatory of Music. Zitkala-sa became an accomplished author, musician, composer, and dedicated worker for the reform of United States Indian policies.
Käsebier photographed Zitkala-sa in tribal dress and western clothing, clearly identifying the two worlds in which this woman lived and worked. In many of the images, Zitkala-sa holds her violin or a book, further indicating her interests. Käsebier experimented with backdrops, including a Victorian floral print, and photographic printing. She used the painterly gum-bichromate process for several of these images, adding increased texture and softer tones to the photographs.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
platinum print
Date made
ca 1898
maker
Kasebier, Gertrude
Physical Description
platinum print (overall production method/technique)
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 16.5 cm x 10.5 cm; 6 1/2 in x 4 1/8 in
ID Number
PG.69.236.102
accession number
287543
catalog number
69.236.102
Credit Line
Mina Turner
subject
Native Americans
Women
See more items in
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Gertrude Kasebier
Photography
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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