Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - Plate 634 Placating the Spirit of a Slain Eagle - Assiniboin border=
Title:
Plate 634 Placating the Spirit of a Slain Eagle - Assiniboin
Date:
1926
Size:
Portfolio, 22x18 inches
Medium:
Vintage Photogravure
 
This middle aged Assiniboin Man holds the spread winged carcass of an eagle. Eagles were coveted for their feathers which were used in many ways. Some of these uses include ornaments and fetishes. Once caught, the sacred eagle was honored by an elaborate ceremony that took place to placate the eagle’s spirit. In this image the man is participating in this ceremony.

The subject is likely the one who has slain the eagle. He wears a necklace made of claws and two long braids. He also carries some accoutrement to assist in the ceremony. This picture was taken by Edward Curtis in 1926 and is on display in our Aspen Art Gallery.
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