SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Redwater in Washington: 1917

Redwater in Washington: 1917

Washington, D.C., circa 1917. "Indians: Redwater and group." My headdress was at the cleaners. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Cheyenne/Arapaho Delegation

This would have been a joint Cheyenne/Arapaho delegation to Washington to meet with President Wilson and discuss land claims - particularly their claim to the western Black Hills. Thaddeus Red Water, as the excerpt linked by Book Reader notes, was a Carlisle student and a football star who learned English. It was customary for the emissaries from the reservation to where their best finery - often handed down from many generations - to meet their "Great Father" - while Red Water would have done his best to do the same as an intermediary and translator for the delegates.

All but the man to Red Water's right have special trade/saddle blankets, and the two to his left are holding a piece of paper in their hands - probably a well prepared plea to read before the President. The men on his right would be the Arapaho leaders, and Cheyenne on his left.

Head dresses are among the most misunderstood American Indian symbol. Only plains tribes wore them, and almost always only for ceremonial purposes. The Cheyenne and Arapaho were the most prevalent users of them (with the Sioux considered their "inventor), and they carried great significance for the wearer, as each feather represented a victory in battle or some other great accomplishment. One simply did not make a headdress, they were earned. After the 1920s, however, the absence of warfare changed things, and ceremonial pieces were created for special events and as gifts to visiting dignitaries. They also became common aspects of fairs and tribes around the country began to wear them in tourist-oriented "shows" further muddling America's notion of what they meant.

Thaddeus Red Water

I believe the man in the middle is Thaddeus Red Water, seen here in his headdress. There is not much information about him on the Internet, except for this excerpt.

Just in Time

The half-smiling fellow on our right has a pocket watch in his breast pocket, secured by a heavy chain with a decorative fob. I'd love to see that watch today! On the other hand (or foot) I think his moccasins would leave my wimpy feet screaming for mercy.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.