The Great Plains

During Curtis’s time, the Indians of the Great Plains lived primarily in North and South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, a territory once traversed by great herds of migrating buffalo. His photographs of Indian life on the Great Plains comprise perhaps his most popular body of work. For many people, his photographs of chiefs and warriors, beadwork, horses, and plains landscape have come to exemplify the American Indian. He also documented many other aspects of tribal cultural life, including hunting, warfare, vision quests, and religious ceremonies. These images remain an unparalleled record of the strength and nobility of the Plains Indian peoples who had once held dominion over tens of thousands of square miles.

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