19th Century Portraits of Native American Women

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Photography by Various

I’ve come across a beautiful collection of vintage photography the other day that I’d like to share with you.

The following portraits of indigenous American girls and women stem from various decades of the 19th and early 20th century. These authentic documents offer a unique and rare insight into a culture and time long before ours.

“Although Native American women often had different roles than the men they were greatly respected. They often had the same sorts of rights at the men in their tribe which is incredible for the time period” knows FIRST AMERICANS magazine, an online publication dedicated to curating ‘the best of Native American culture, language, spiritual life, music and arts‘.

“In some groups, women were the ones who owned the home and property inside. While it was typical for a chief to be male there were some tribes that would have the women select who he would be.”


This is a re-post from a well-researched feature on FIRST AMERICANS. Head over there to see the full range of pictures, original dates of the photos, and more quotes.

portraits of native american girls

portraits of native american girls

portraits of native american girls

portraits of native american girls

“The Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way. The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly.”

portraits of native american girls

portraits of native american girls

portrait of a native american girl

portraits of native american girls

“A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way.”

portraits of native american women

portraits of native american women

portraits of native american women

portraits of native american women

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