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Ten sets of Native American eyes.

Lessons Drawn From the Gaze of Native American Warriors

Evolve, Inspire

The implacable light and integrity of warriors through a series of stunning portraits.

He who doesn’t understand a look will not understand a long explanation.
Arabian proverb

A variety of circumstances have led us to feel increasingly distant from a time when people were accustomed to warriors walking daily amongst us. Integral beings, they practiced a philosophy of life that’s today taken on the halo of a relic and a museum-like virtue; an impeccable consistency.

Today though, we live in an era of abstraction and virtuality, far from such tangible and tactile elements as fire, a tree or even courage. Fortunately, we have reminders of the substance that lies at the source, and which transcend contemporary existential paraphernalia. And we can return, at least for a moment to the original canvas.

In this case, the reminder takes the form of photographs; portraits of Native American warriors whose gazes, by an implacable light, invite us to return to our own centers, and from there to perhaps understand life differently and to reconsider the primary virtues that at some point have accompanied our species.

These images, which could today be considered tools for the re-enchantment of reality and for the cultivation of a more warlike attitude toward life, are part of an invaluable anthropological file created by the photographer, Edward S. Curtis. In the early 20th century, Curtis spent two decades touring the territory of the United States. He visited 80 native tribes and captured more than 40,000 images.

Native American chief with bull horns headpiece

Bull Chief –– Apsaroke, 1908.

A Native American man with two long braids and a blanket covering half of his chest

Heavy Shield, c. 1900.

Native American chief with large head dress covered in feathers and wearing a lot of necklaces

Joseph –– Nez Percé, 1903.

Native American chief with two long braids, a lot of necklaces, and a blanket covering his genitals holding a spear

Wolf, 1908.

Native American chief wearing a feather headpiece, large earrings, and a vest

Yellow Bull –– Nez Percé, c. 1905.

Native American from the shoulders up with long hair

Hollow Horn Bear –– Brulé, 1907.

Native American chief with large head piece and matching vest

Three Horses, c. 1905.

Long haired Native American with bangs in traditional clothing

Head Dress ––Atsina, 1908.

Native American chief with long hair and weapons strapped to his body in traditional clothing

Oyegi-a ye (Frost Moving), c. 1900.

Native American with a bandana around his forehead and a large scarf covering his shoulders and neck

Si wa wata wa, c. 1903.

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