Subject matter This photograph depicts Fort Lapwai, "place of the butterflies," built on the Nez Percé reservation in Northern Idaho to prevent white settlers from encroaching on Nez Percé land. This image is from The North American Indian (1907-1930), a twenty-volume series created by Edward Curtis in order to document the lives of Native Americans in diverse regions of the Western United States. This limited edition volume was financially supported by J.P. Morgan, and promoted by Theodore Roosevelt. The resulting works have been criticized and celebrated for their portrayal of Native American life. Curtis often included anachronous props and clothing and presented rituals that had not been performed in years in order to support an idealized and romantic reading of a “vanishing race.”
Physical Description A photograph of a landscape. The image plane is divided in half, the lower foreground showing a field of grass, and large, dense trees growing at the horizon line.
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