Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - Plate 196 Yellow Kidney - Piegan border=
Title:
Plate 196 Yellow Kidney - Piegan
Date:
1910
Size:
Portfolio, 22 x 18 inches
Medium:
Vintage Photogravure
 
The portrait shows Apuyotoksi (Light-colored Kidney) wear a wolf-skin war bonnet.

Similar to the well-known headdress the war bonnet would be worn into battle or for ceremonial purposes. Generally the war bonnets or headdresses would only be worn by someone of great respect in their tribe. This photograph by Edward S. Curtis was taken in 1910 and shows the subject in profile. Yellow Kidney is of young or middle age and very attractive, he appears to be posing in front of a tipi backdrop which likely would have been Edward S. Curtis’ tipi.

The men of the Piegan tribe were organized into a series of warrior societies in which membership was based on age. Arranged in the order of the age of their members these groups were: Doves, Flies, Braves, All Brave Dogs, Tails, Raven bearers, Dogs, Kit-foxes, Catchers, and Bulls. As a whole they were known as 'All Comrades.' The function of the societies was primarily to preserve order in the camp during the march, and on the hunt; to protect the camp by guarding against possible sunrise by the enemy; to be informed at all times as to the movement of the buffalo herds; and secondarily by intersociety rivalry to cultivate the military spirit, and by their feasts and dances to minister to the desire of members for social recreation.
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