Title: Commentary on "Chief Iron Tail, Sioux Indian"

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Commentary on "Chief Iron Tail, Sioux Indian"

Chief Iron Tail was one of the elder of the Sioux Indians traveling with the Wild West show in 1898 when Gertrude Käsebier photographed the group. And he would remain with the show for about two decades. When Gertrude Käsebier had the chance to photograph the Chief, she wanted to do it in the way that she envisioned the portrait session and that would be capturing the 'raw' man, the personality and the character of this individual. Not as just a chief, but as the man himself. So she asked him whether he would be willing to take off the headdress that he had worn and brought with him and sit for Käsebier the way that she envisioned it. And he did so very willingingly, and it's a very vulnerable image of him. She gave a copy of this image to Chief Iron Tail and he immediately tore it up. It was not how he wanted to be represented. So what she did was the compromise, and photographed him as he wished to be portrayed: as the brave warrior, leader of this group, in full headdress, in profile, showing the strength that was the character that he wanted portrayed. And the two images together reflect the very traditional nature of Native American photography and the very new ways which Käsebier hoped that her images would be percieved.

Title: Commentary on "Chief Iron Tail, Sioux Indian"

Speaker: Michelle Delaney, Smithsonian Institution

Recorded by: Jeremy Goodman, Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Edited by: Rebecca Wingo

Transcribed by: Hannah Vahle and Rebecca Wingo

Editorial Statement | Conditions of Use

TEI encoded XML: View wfc.aud.69.236.40.xml

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