A century ago, a Philadelphia philanthropist sponsored a series of journeys to the American West to document Native American cultures and traditions. The Wanamaker Expeditions, conducted between 1908 and 1913, visited Crow Agency, Montana, near the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn. In words and images, the expeditions recorded aspects of the tribal lifestyle that were rapidly disappearing as Native Americans were pressured to assimilate into mainstream society. This book offers fascinating glimpses of life during that transitional period among the Crow, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Dakota, and other tribes of the northern plains. The Wanamaker Expeditions organized a gathering of Native American chiefs from across the country for an event known as The Last Great Indian Council. This volume offers a fascinating record of speeches from the occasion along with the participants' renditions of folkloric tales and their firsthand accounts of Custer's Last Stand. Best of all, 80 historic photographs by Dr. Joseph K. Dixon offer a stunning gallery of scenes from Native American life, including reenactments of ceremonies and portraits of leaders in traditional regalia.
With the financial support of department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker, Baptist minister Joseph K. Dixon undertook the documentation of Native American life and lore during the early decades of the twentieth century. The Wanamaker Expeditions, from which this book and its illustrations originated, involved the filming and photography of thousands of individuals from scores of tribes. The Vanishing Race remains an outstanding and authentic source of stories, speeches, reminiscences, and photographs for anyone with an interest in Native American history. A citizen of the A'aninin Indian tribe of Montana, Joe D. Horse Capture is Associate Curator of the Collections Research and Documentation Department at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. Before joining the Smithsonian staff, he worked for fifteen years at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where he was Associate Curator of Native American Art and the institution's first Native American curator. He is the co-author of Beauty, Honor and Tradition: The Legacy of Plains Indian Shirts and From Our Ancestors: Art of the White Clay People. He has contributed to many publications including Shapeshifting-Transformations in Native American Art. "