Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis -   Plate 099 The Morning Attack border=
Title:
Plate 099 The Morning Attack
Date:
1907
Size:
Portfolio, 18 x 22 inches
Medium:
Vintage Photogravure
 
Description by Edward Curtis: The favorite moment for attack was just at dawn, when the enemy was presumably unprepared to offer quick resistance.

A long and flat landscape shows a large group of men on horseback. Many of the subjects are wearing headdresses and have large sticks which may have been coup sticks.

"A 'coup' could be won by actually killing an enemy, by striking the body of an enemy whether dead or alive, by capturing a horse or a band of horses, or by taking a scalp. Honors were counted on each hostile warrior by the first four who struck him, the first in each case winning the greatest renown, an honor called 'taya-kte' (kill right). Thus if twenty men were struck or even touched in an encounter, twenty honors of the first grade were won by the victors. But the greatest exploit of all was to ride in the midst of the enemy and strike a warrior in action without attempting to wound him. When a man had lead four war parties, and in each achieved a first honor, he was eligible to chiefmanship."- From Edward Curtis’ North American Indian
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