Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis -   Plate 006 Sigesh - Apache border=
Plate 006 Sigesh - Apache
Portfolio, 22 x 18 inches
Vintage Photogravure
Found in the Edward Curtis collection are communications that are visual in the details. “This illustrates the girls' method of tying the hair previous to marriage. The ornament fastened to the hair in the back is made of leather, broad and round at the ends and narrow in the middle.” – Edward Curtis.

Curtis depicted, as accurately as possible, the cultural dress and nuances in this portrait. Apache girls were raised to be modest and chaste, and held with great value in the tribe. Once puberty was reached, they adopted this hairstyle to indicate she was ready for marriage. A significant ceremony was planned to signify the change of status to “woman”.

Similar to a debutante, and with as much anticipation and excitement, the parents organized a large party, created a guest list of prominent people to invite, though everyone was welcome, and arranged for important tribal figures to perform the rites of passage.
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