Beyond the Reach of Time and Change: Native American Reflections on the Frank A. Rinehart Photograph Collection (Sun Tracks)

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9780816523597: Beyond the Reach of Time and Change: Native American Reflections on the Frank A. Rinehart Photograph Collection (Sun Tracks)

Around the turn of the twentieth century, most photographs of Indians pandered to shameless, insensitive stereotypes. In contrast, photographic portraits made by Frank A. Rinehart conveyed the dignity and pride of Native peoples. More than 545 Native Americans representing tribes from all over the country attended the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha in 1898 to be part of an event known as the Indian Congress. Rinehart, the exposition’s official photographer, and his assistant Adolph Muhr made more than 500 glass-plate negatives depicting Native Americans in their traditional dress, now housed at Haskell Indian Nations University and regarded as one of the best photographic documentations of Indian leaders from this era. This book provides an unusual perspective on the Rinehart collection. It features one hundred outstanding images printed from the original negatives made by Rinehart and Muhr at the Congress and over the course of the next two years. It also includes 14 essays by modern Native American writers, artists, and educators some of them descendants of the individuals photographed reflecting on the place of these images in their heritage. Beyond the Reach of Time and Change is not another coffee-table book of historical Indian photographs but rather a conversation between Indian people of a century ago and today. Just as the Rinehart collection offers today's Native Americans a unique connection to the past, this book offers all readers a positive understanding of continuity and endurance within the American Indian community.

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From the Inside Flap:

From the beginning of their contact with outsiders, American Indians have been depicted as exotic, their image ranging from savage to noble depending on the dominant culture's prevailing attitude. Around the turn of the twentieth century, many photographs of Indians pandered to shameless, insensitive stereotypes. In contrast, photographic portraits made by Frank A. Rinehart from 1898 to 1900 conveyed the dignity and pride of Native peoples. Native Americans were invited to the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha in 1898 to be part of an event known as the Indian Congress. Over 545 delegates representing 35 tribes from all over the country attended--including Geronimo and his followers, then prisoners of war. Rinehart, the exposition's official photographer, and his assistant Adolph Muhr made over 500 glass-plate negatives depicting Native Americans in their traditional dress, now housed at Haskell Indian Nations University and regarded as one of the best photographic documentations of Indian leaders from this era. This book provides an unusual perspective on the Rinehart collection. It features one hundred outstanding images printed from the original negatives made by Rinehart and Muhr at the Congress and over the course of the next two years. It also includes 14 essays by modern Native American writers, artists, and educators--some of them descendants of the individuals photographed--reflecting on the place of these images in their heritage. Beyond the Reach of Time and Change is not another coffee-table book of historical Indian photographs but rather a conversation between Indian people of a century ago and today. Sculptor Bob Haozous, a great-grandson of one of Geronimo's followers, celebrates the heroic resistance of the Apache people and the artistic inspiration he takes from his ancestors. Writer and scholar Geary Hobson sees in the photographs the spark for a Roots-like awakening and connectedness for Indian people. Others like Ray Young Bear and Laura Tohe comment on the era in which the photos were made--a time when Americans believed the West had been won and the United States was already establishing itself on the world stage--or speak to the relevance of the images to their own lives. By listening to the stories these photographs tell, the book's contributors draw inferences and insights easily overlooked by outsiders regarding stereotypes and self-perception, assimilation and resistance. The Rinehart collection offers today's Native Americans a unique connection to the past; Beyond the Reach of Time and Change offers all readers a positive understanding of continuity and endurance within the American Indian community. Contributors: Ned Blackhawk, Gregory A. Cajete, Julie Cajune, Debra Earling, Bob Haozous, Geary Hobson, Ted Jojola, Carole Nez, Simon J. Ortiz, Bobbi Rahder, James Riding In, Beverly R. Singer, Laura Tohe, Ray A. Young Bear, Alfred Young Man

About the Author:

Poet, fiction writer, essayist, and storyteller Simon Ortiz is a native of Acoma Pueblo and is the author of numerous books.

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