Thursday

The son of a wealthy Pittsburgh carpetmaker, Walter McClintock became entranced by the American West after traveling there in 1895 to recover from a serious case of typhoid fever.

 In 1896, he traveled West again as a photographer for a federal commission investigating national forests. While there, he came into contact with the Blackfoot community in northwestern Montana and began a life-long interest in them.

Over the next 20 years, the Yale graduate took several thousand photographs of the Blackfoot Indians — a name thought to have been acquired because of the black color of their moccasins, which were painted or darkened with ashes — and their culture.McClintock believed Indian communities were undergoing rapid, dramatic change. Fearful that their traditional culture would be lost, he wanted a record their way of life before it completely disappeared.

He wrote books and gave lectures based upon his experiences interacting with the Blackfoot people.

One of McClintock’s favorite images was of a Blackfoot lodge glowing from within, “emanating a warm, radiant incandescence”, according to author and historian Sherry L. Smith, who says the photographer “tried his best to enter that lodge and explain its interior life to other Americans”.

A lantern slide is a positive print of a photograph on a glass slide that is often hand-painted to be more visually appealing.
Source


Ceremony of the fasting woman. Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949) of the Blackfoot Indians of Montana. (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Blackfoot woman chopping firewood, Eagle teepee in foreground, Star teepee on left. Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949). (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

 An original, unpainted image of two Blackfoot women inside a teepee in Montana, by photographer Walter McClintock. (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949) of the Blackfoot Indians of Montana. (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

 This slide of Indians on horseback in South Piegan, accompanied the lecture entitled, “Dances of the Blackfoot”, given in 1936. Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949). (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

 White Grass entering his teepee at the end of the ceremony of the Dancing Pipe, from the lecture, “Dances of the Blackfoot” given in 1936. Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949) of the Blackfoot Indians of Montana. (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

 Buffalo teepee on left, Snake teepee on right, Star teepee in back center. Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949). (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Hand-painted lantern slide by photographer Walter McClintock (1870-1949) of the Blackfoot Indians of Montana. (Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Responses to "Rare Photo Slides Capture Native Americans in Late 1800s"

  1. doug says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you very much.

  2. THANK YOU...

  3. Lisa says:

    Beautiful pics, but they made me feel sad.

  4. Fiamma says:

    Beautiful pictures!

  5. Anonymous says:

    These are beautiful. wished our people still lived like this.

  6. john c says:

    just got done reading "old indian trails' by waler Mcclintock. Asmazing man-and so lucky to be born at the right time in history to record the indians of the rocky mt. reigion.

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