Edward S. Curtis. The North American Indian: The Southwest.
Santa Fe: Classic Gravure Corporation, 1980. Reprint of 1906. Forward by Theodore Roosevelt. New Introductions by Beaumont Newhall and Fred Eggan. Folio. Leather boards with minor wear. Gilt lettering on spine. Very good condition.
Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) began his career as a photographer at age seventeen in St. Paul, Minnesota, moving two years later to Seattle, where he continued his profession. In 1895, he met and photographed Princess Angeline (Kikisoblu), a daughter of Chief Sealth or Seattle (Ts'ial-la-kum), after whom the city was named. This got Curtis interested in photographing Native Americans and he began to travel to record different tribal cultures. He soon developed the idea of documenting, in a comprehensive publication, North American tribes and began to seek funding. He received a letter of recommendation from Theodore Roosevelt, which led to his introduction to railroad magnate John Pierpont Morgan, who committed to support the project. Curtis took to this project with enthusiasm, taking tens of thousands of photographs of 80 tribes. His intent was to document traditional Indian cultures, so he also recorded information on the languages, customs, and dress of the tribes and wrote biographical sketches of many of the tribal leaders.
Although the publisher of this book intended to reprint the entire Curtis work using original plates, the company went out of business and this was the only volume produced. And, as it was intended to reproduce text, the only illustration is the frontispiece self-photograph of the author.
The Editor's Note states: "This text has been abridged from Volumes I, II, XII, XVI, and XVII of The North American Indian. The intention of this volume is to give a condensed account of the ways of life of the Southwestern Indians. It includes descriptions of tribal organizations, habitats, social and religious customs, domestic articles, and arts. To effect a thorough summary, passages have necessarily been extracted from the appendices; much of the complex Indian terminology has been translated to facilitate the narrative flow. However, an accurate rendering of Curtis’ form and style has been faithfully retained, with only transitional elements having been added.” The volume contains information on such tribes as: Apache, Jicarillas, Navaho, Pima, Papago, Qahatika, Mohave, Yuma, Maricopa, Walapai, Havasupai, Apache-Mohave or Yavapai, Hopi, Tiwa, Keres and Zuni.