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The Face Pullers: Photographing Native Canadians 1871-1939

Silversides, Brock V.

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ISBN 10: 1895618428 / ISBN 13: 9781895618426
Published by Fifth House Ltd, Canada, 1994
New Condition: New Soft cover
From Librairie La forêt des Livres (Lévis, QC, Canada)

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About this Item

The Face Pullers: Photographing Native Canadians 1871 - 1939 is a collection of almost 200 archival photographs of Prairie First Nations individuals and families compiled by the Chief Audio-Visual Archivist at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Brock Silversides. The collection provides an overview of the overwhelming changes that occurred in the lives of First Nations communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The images are organized according to broad time periods where the author identifies the photographers and their role in photographing the First Nations. Bookseller Inventory # 001009

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Face Pullers: Photographing Native ...

Publisher: Fifth House Ltd, Canada

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The Face Pullers documents a particularly rich period in the history of Canadian photography. These photographs of First nations people - spanning the period 1871 to 1939 - provide not only a fascinating glimpse of a vanished world, but also illuminate the ways in which myths and misunderstandings about Native people have influenced, from the earliest days, the images produced by non-Native photographers.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, many Canadian photographers - both amateur and professional - took pictures of Native people for documentary and commercial purposes. The Indians initially regarded photographic equipment with curiosity, suspicion, and fear, and upon viewing the final product, labeled the camera "the face puller." The photographs were in great demand among the white population, and while they often presented idealized views of First Nations people, they nevertheless managed to portray some authentic aspects of the Native experience. The evocative images in this collection provide a perspective of these individuals and their lives impossible to convey with mere words, and bear witness to the strength and resilience of what many believed at the time to be a dying race.

The Face Pullers provides an unusual record of the myth-making surrounding Native people, and valuable insights into the history of Indian/white relations in Canada.

About the Author:

As the Chief Audio-Visual Archivist at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Brock Silversides works to acquire and preserve audio-visual documents of historical significance and to make them available to the public.

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