Edward Curtis was devoted to creating an archive of Native Americans, who he and others perceived as rapidly disappearing. Despite his embrace of the myth of the “vanishing Indian,” the powerful images that he captured are important records of hundreds of different indigenous communities.
Born around 1857, Cetan Luta (Red Hawk) was an Oglala Lakota from the Oyahpe band. He was a warrior and great leader who fought with Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull at Little Bighorn, and also bore witness to the harsh realities facing the Sioux people in both resistance and surrender. This man lived in a complicated and painful time for the Lakota, but he and his people endured those hardships and retained their identity and traditions.
-Aaron Miller, Associate Curator of Visual and Material Culture, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)