Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis -   Plate 076  The Medicine-Man border=
Plate 076 The Medicine-Man
Portfolio, 22 x 18 inches
Vintage Photogravure
“Invocation and supplication enter so much into the life of the Indian that this picture of the grim old warrior invoking the Mysteries is most characteristic. The subject of the illustration is Slow Bull, whose biography is given in Volume III, page 189.” – Edward Curtis

“All things passing understand are “waka.” When supplicating Waka-ta ka, the Indian conceives the Mystery as possessing and being all things that transcend his comprehension. After invoking successively each deity in his belief, he comprehends all in prayer, “Great Mystery!” and in the cry he has included all the forces of the universe, from that represented by the personal fetish on his body to the undefined consciousness of the infinite.” Volume III p 60

Slow Bull was born in 1844 and participated in his first war-party at fourteen, engaging in fifty-five battles over his lifetime. At seventeen he captured one hundred and seventy horses from the Apsaroke and “In the same year he received medicine from buffalo in a dream while he slept on a hilltop, not fasting, but resting from travel on the war-path.”

He was 63 in this photogravure and had been the subchief of the Ogallala tribe for 30 years.
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