Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)

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Edward S. Curtis - Ready For Okipe Buffalo Dance - Mandan border=
Ready For Okipe Buffalo Dance - Mandan
Volume, 12.5 x 9.5 inches
Vintage Photogravure
The Okipe ceremony was a four day religious rite of the Mandan tribe and was generally celebrated annually. Edward S. Curtis surmised that the ceremony was on the summer solstice. The purpose of the ceremony was for the general well-being of the tribe in particularly abundant crops, healthy children, numerous bison and freedom from disease.

The main performance was done by a man of the tribe who had heard the voice singing the songs of Okipe. Okipe is said to mean "look like" or "effigy" and refers to the masked dancers.

Pictured here by Edward S Curtis is man ready for the Okipe dance. He is elaborately dressed and appears to be masked or has a hidden face.

This photogravure was taken in 1908 by Edward S. Curtis. The piece was printed on Deluxe Japanese Tissue and is available for sale in out Aspen Art Gallery.
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