Saint-Cloud, [Bonaparte], 1883. Three albumen prints (each 22.4 x 16.7 cm) mounted on printed board (40.4 x 31.0 cm each).
Three very rare original photos of Native Americans, as follows: 1. the American Indian chief Standing Bear, or Montchou-Naji, also known as Shenou-jinga-va-shushi, at the age of 42. This is number 5 of a series of photos of Omaha Indians. 2. "Inside-Man", or Uloshinagi. This is number 9 of the same series of photos of Omaha Indians. 3. "Cat", or Ingh-rhanga. An 18 year old male, together with a four-year-old cousin, who, according to the traditions of the tribe, did not yet have a name. Cat was described as "Célibataire; Il a été pendant quelques mois dans une école américaine". This is number 11 of the same series of photos of Omaha Indians. "The Omaha are a federally recognized Midwestern Native American tribe that resides on the Omaha Reservation in northeastern Nebraska and western Iowa, United States. The Omaha Indian Reservation lies primarily in the southern part of Thurston County and northeastern Cuming County, Nebraska, but small parts extend into the northeast corner of Burt County and across the Missouri River into Monona County, Iowa. Its total land area is 796.355 km2 and a population of 5,194 was recorded in the 2000 census. ... The Omaha developed an extensive trading network with early European explorers and French Canadian voyageurs. They controlled the fur trade and had access to other tribes on the Upper Missouri River. Omaha, Nebraska, the largest city in Nebraska, is named after them. Never known to take up arms against the U.S., the Omaha assisted the U.S. during the American Civil War" (Wikipedia). According to Bonaparte, there were 1,121 Omaha in 1883. These ethnographic albumen prints of Native Indians were commissioned by Prince Roland Napoléon Bonaparte (1858-1924), and photographed by Alfred Ayotte. Roland Bonaparte was the son of Prince Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte and Justine Eleanore Ruflin. He was a grandson of Lucien Bonaparte, brother of Emperor Napoleon the First. He had a keen interest in anthropology and was president of the Société de Géographie from 1910 until his death. He was also one of the founders of the French Société de Spéléologie, and a member of the Académie des Sciences. Official blind stamp of the Collection in the lower right corner of the photos, and in reverse on the boards verso. The "Collection" is a photo album with 35 prints, nearly all of portraits of Omaha Indians (one is of an Omaha tent village), and therefore titled "Collection anthropologique du prince Roland Bonaparte. Peaux rouges". Board edges a bit worn and shaved at the corners and marginally a little soiled; the photos in very good condition. Very rare.