Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - A Beaver Bundle - Blackfoot border=
Title:
A Beaver Bundle - Blackfoot
Size:
Volume, 9.5 x 12.5 inches
Medium:
Vintage Photogravure
 
This image represents the very important ceremony surrounding the planting of tobacco. Two men sit beside each other holding the beaver bundles that are likely full of tobacco seed. They are in the shadows and the light shines mostly on the bundles. This photogravure was taken by Edward S. Curtis and is now on display in our Aspen Art Gallery.

“The principal Beaver Bundle was shown the writer in a tent at a haying camp. It lay in the place of honor on a pile of folded rawhides. It was wrapped in a tanned buffalo-skin colored red, and was securely wound with plaited rawhide rope. Under the turns of the rope were two hardwood dibbles, each having the incised outline of a beaver on its flat side. The handle ends were ornamented with beads. With the sticks were two long pipes separately wrapped in red flannel.

The ceremony of planting tobacco is held in great awe. The following account, apparently half myth and half legend, purports to explain the origin of the beaver bundles and ritualistic tobacco planting.” -From Page 184 in volume 18 of Edward Curtis' North American Indian
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