Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - Apsaroke Woman border=
Apsaroke Woman
Volume, 12.5 x 9.5 inches
Vintage Photogravure
This Apsaroke woman stands facing the camera so that we can view her entire figure. She is wearing a dress very typical of the Apsaroke people generally made of sheep skin. On the neck and sleeves this dress may be embroidered with porcupine quills or beads but the most striking element of these dresses are the elk teeth. From top to bottom of the dress, elk teeth adorn the dress. The number of these teeth were a show of the families wealth as a fine dress required over a thousand teeth.

She is holding a short staff, perhaps a walking stick and standing in front of what looks like an adobe wall. This photogravure was taken by Edward Curtis in 1908 and is on display in our Aspen Art Gallery.

“At the climax of the life of the Apsaroke a good horse purchased a hundred, and no self-respecting man presumed to marry unless he and his family could furnish the elk-teeth necessary to adorn a wife’s dress.” - Edward Curtis
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