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These rare and beautiful vintage portraits of Native American girls were taken between the late 1800s and the turn of the 19th Century, yet despite being over a century old, many of them are still surprisingly clear.

Women were well respected in traditional Native American culture, and although they generally had different roles from men, they often had the same rights as their male counterparts. They usually owned the home along with everything in it, and in some tribes, while the chief was a man, it was the women who were responsible for electing him.

Because women's activities were considered central to the welfare of the community, this gave them a certain level of social, political and economic power, and even today approximately 25% of Native American tribes recognised by the federal government of the United States are led by women. “A lot of people think that us women are not leaders, but we are the heart of the nation, we are the center of our home, and it is us who decide how it will be.”–Philomine Lakota, Lakota language teacher, Red Cloud High School, Pine Ridge, S.D.

Native women are traditionally the stewards of the vital relationship with land, and have remained principal advocates for Mother Earth

Because women’s activities were central to the community’s welfare, they also held important political, social, and economic power. In many North American societies, clan membership and material goods descended through women. For example, the Five (later Six) Nations of the Iroquois Confederation all practiced matrilineal descent.


Clan matrons selected men to serve as their chiefs, and they deposed chiefs with whom they were dissatisfied. Women’s life-giving roles also played a part in their political and social authority. In Native American creation stories, it was often the woman who created life, through giving birth to children, or through the use of their own bodies to create the earth, from which plants and animals emerged.

Big Tree's sister - Kiowa - 1870

Gertrude Three finger, Cheyenne, by William E. Irwin. From A Stylistic Analysis of American Indian Portrait Photography in Oklahoma

Lakota Woman in Traditional Dress

Lakota, 1890

Kiowa 1894

Pretty Nose, a Cheyenne woman. Photographed in 1878 at Fort Keogh, Montana by L. A. Huffman.

Hopi girls looking out window, Hopi, Arizona. Photo by Carl Werntz. 1900.

Apache, 1899, By Frank A. Rinehart

lsie Vance Chestuen, Chiricahua

(Unidentified Native American Girl in Traditional Dress)

Wanada Parker, Daughter of War Chief, Quanah Parker

Nedda Parker Birdsong - Daughter of Quanah Parker - Comanche

Lizzie Long Wolf (the daughter of Long Wolf) - Oglala - 1892 

Kiowa girl

Singing Beauty, a Crow girl, poses outdoors by a tepee near Sheridan, Wyoming. She wears a dress decorated with elk teeth, leather belt and bead necklaces. c.1900. 

 Hopi girl

Responses to "1800s-1900s Stunning Portraits Of Native American Teen Girls With Their Unique Beauty"

  1. Awesome collection! Beautiful women!

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