Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Doing Research

Here's a video that shows a lot of Indian photos that I go through to get ideas for faces, clothing, hairstyle. Just some of them. It also shows at the end of it, the dilemma talked about below the link.


One of the pitfalls of doing research on Native Americans, are the old photographs that you find in books can't be relied on. Take for instance this photo of Sitting Bull.

Note the beaded pouch on his belt, the war club in his hand, and especially the split buffalo horn headdress. Now look at the two pictures below of another Indian.

Do you see the similarities? If you look at the above photo, taken in the exact same studio, you see the headdress first as being the same as the one on the head of Sitting Bull. Now you look closer and the beaded pouch lays on the floor near the base of the pedestal. Oh and the war club.. need I say more? It's so difficult to do accurate research when so many old time western photographers had stock outfits and headdresses that they dressed the Indians they photographed. A lot of times the headdress or the clothing was from a different tribe altogether. Can you imagine how these gentlemen felt as this photographer degraded them by dressing them in a way, just to sell photographs of them. Kinda like modern day advertisers... ain't it.

Well that's it for today.

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