Documenting the life of Native Americans at Crow Reservation at the beginning of the 20th Century

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Richard Throssel was born in Marengo, Washington in 1882. A Cree photographer best known for documenting life at the Crow Reservation at the beginning of the 20th Century, his photographs of the Crow Tribe from scenes of everyday life to ceremonies and dances, as well as portraits, are considered a “priceless historic documents of the vanishing race.”

In 1902, Richard Throssel moved to the Crow Reservation in Montana to join his brother as a clerk in the Indian Service office. Shortly after he moved to the reservation, Throssel bought a camera and began taking photos of the tribe members. He took inspiration from the work of contemporary artists such as Edward S Curtis and Henry Sharp, who he met on the reservation. However, unlike these artists, Throsel was adopted into the tribe in 1906 due to his Canadain Cree descent.

Here is just a small part of Throssell’s photographic collection, that beside Crow members depicts the life of other Native American tribes at the beginning of the 20th Century.

 

Native America. c 1910

Native America. c 1910

 

1910

1910

 

A rest in the tobacco ceremony

A rest in the tobacco ceremony

 

At the waterfront

At the waterfront

 

Building a tippi

Building a tippi

Throssel was recognizable for his authentic approach to capture “Crow couples, families and children, which are especially striking as the love and warmth expressed by the families are so contrary to how we normally see Native men, women, and children depicted in early photography”

Carries the war staff crow

Carries the war staff crow

 

Native american with baby

Native american with baby

 

Crow on horseback

Crow on horseback

 

crow

Crow

 

hairy-moccasin

Hairy-moccasin

 

horse goes ahead or two leggings

Horse goes ahead or two leggings

 

Native american child and dog

Native american child and dog

 

Native american in headdress

Native american in headdress

 

Native american-with horse pulling travois 1910

Native American-with horse pulling travois 1910

 

Native Americans on horseback-1910

Native Americans on horseback-1910

 

 

Native americans on horseback

Native Americans on horseback

 

Native americans riding

Native Americans riding

 

plenty coos-1910

Plenty coos-1910

 

Portrait of a native-american

Portrait of a native-American

 

Tall white man

Tall white man

 

The storm

The storm

 

Two moons Cheyenne

Two moons Cheyenne

 

wolf-crow-c1910

Wolf-crow-c1910

Richard Throssel remained on the Crow Reservation until 1911. During this time he took more than 1,000 photographa depicting the life of the Crow tribe.