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Aboriginal Life Among the Navajoe Indians, Near Old Fort Defiance, N.M.

A work made of albumen print, from the album "geographical & geological explorations & surveys west of the 100th meridian," vol. 1.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of albumen print, from the album "geographical & geological explorations & surveys west of the 100th meridian," vol. 1.

Date:

1873

Artist:

Timothy O’Sullivan
American, born Ireland, 1840–1882

About this artwork

An 1868 treaty, signed at gunpoint, allowed the Navajo back onto ancestral lands in Arizona after 20 years of raids and slaughter capped by the genocidal “Long Walk” east to captivity in New Mexico.

This richly hued picture shows labor clearly—drying ears of corn and a double loom are in brilliant focus—while the laborers appear blurred and idle. But these four Navajo men still seem stubbornly present. The one half-hidden at the back, and the one who turns his face away, may be actively resisting portrayal. Such presence and tacit resistance both run counter to romanticized images of the Navajo as actively dangerous or disappearing—images that already were fast becoming clichés.

See also: Robin Kelsey, Archive Style (2007); James C. Faris, Navajo and Photography (1996)

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Photography and Media

Artist

Timothy O'Sullivan

Title

Aboriginal Life Among the Navajoe Indians, Near Old Fort Defiance, N.M.

Place

United States (Artist's nationality)

Date

Made 1873

Medium

Albumen print, from the album "Geographical & Geological Explorations & Surveys West of the 100th Meridian," vol. 1

Dimensions

Image/paper: 27.5 × 20.2 cm (10 7/8 × 8 in.); Mount: 49.9 × 39.4 cm (19 11/16 × 15 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Photography Gallery Fund

Reference Number

1959.615.22

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/140432/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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