Women and Warriors of the Plains: The Pioneer Photography of Julia E. Tuell

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9780878424177: Women and Warriors of the Plains: The Pioneer Photography of Julia E. Tuell

Julie Tuell lived among the Cheyenne and the Sioux from 1906 to 1929. Understanding that all facets of Plains Indian culture were precious and endangered, she photographed both the mundane and the magnificent, from women preparing a meal to the chiseled faces of tribal elders.

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Review:

In the waning days of the reign of Native American tribes, Julia Tuell photographed the Cheyennes in Montana, the Sac and Fox in Oklahoma, and the Lakota in South Dakota. She owed her nomadic existence to her husband's job as a schoolmaster on reservations. Her art she owed to her own talents and the trust extended by various tribes, who allowed her to chronicle even sacred religious ceremonies such as the Sun Dance and an animal dance called the Massaum. Her photographs are often strikingly beautiful compositions, but part of what makes the plainer ones memorable are the small acts of daily life among women: grinding berries, scraping and staking out hides, carrying a baby strapped into a decorated cradle board. Dan Aadland, a friend of Tuell's youngest son, provides historic context and some illumination in the occasionally fawning accompanying text.

About the Author:

Author Dan Aadland ranches and writes in south-central Montana. An avid outdoorsman who particularly treasures time spent in the saddle under Montana's big sky, Aadland holds a PhD in American Studies and has been a Marine officer and a teacher. On the ranch owned by their family for more than a century, he and his wife, Emily, have raised three sons, along with many of the ground-covering horses that are a family legacy. His many equine articles have appeared in magazines such as Equus and Western Horseman.

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