Edward S. Curtis: Northwest Coast Indians

During the thirty years that Curtis spent recording the vanishing cultures of North American Indians, he spent much time with the tribes of the Northwest Coast. This collection of photogravures captures the markedly different cultures of those tribes, which are often unfamiliar to those whose sole contact with American Indians has been through television and movies.

As with any non-industrial culture, survival is accomplished through close interaction with the environment. This was an aspect of Indian life that Curtis found particularly intriguing. Fishing, weaving and reaping, along with other skills and crafts, were highlighted in many of his portraits.

Photographs in this collection include portrayals of a Skokomish mat house and fishing camp, basket makers, mussel gatherers, a warrior of the Cowichan tribe, plus photos that convey the great beauty of the Northwest Coast.

This collection is excerpted from Curtis's mammoth work, The North American Indian, that was completed in 1930 and consists of 20 volumes of text with 1,500 small plates, plus 20 portfolios of unbound gravure plates.