Native American?


When I saw this photograph at the antique shop, I had to have it. This woman has a rather typical dress, but her hairstyle and the decorative element on her breast are not typical. As you look closely, you can see feathers and beads on the dress. That coupled with the  obvious braid made me wonder if this woman is a Native American, what back in the day would have been termed an Indian.

The photographer was Henry Shurtleff in Amboy, IL. I found two additional references for this photographer both dated in the 1880s.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IntenseGuy
    May 03, 2012 @ 11:32:57

    I had to look to see where Amboy, IL was… looks like a far-suburb of Chicago.

    I wonder if she was in one of those traveling “wild west shows”?


  2. mousleyka
    May 03, 2012 @ 16:49:24

    I’ve got a WordPress account now.


  3. Far Side of Fifty
    May 05, 2012 @ 06:24:29

    Amboy has a great is said that someone asked an Indian boy what tribe he belonged to and he said “Am Boy” .
    Yes she looks Native American..that feather/bow thing most likely has some special meaning..from my experience they are very superstitious.
    She looks Sioux to me..but that is just my impression:)


  4. Mike Brubaker
    May 07, 2012 @ 21:06:48

    I’m not sure of the Indian connection. The decorative bow looks more like a prize award or a fraternal society badge. Medals, emblems, etc. were very common fashion accessories and difficult to identify today.


  5. tyrogers6200
    May 09, 2012 @ 08:09:20

    It’s a beautiful picture, she does have an ethic look to her.


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