Rare photographs document the lives of Cheyenne people during the early reservation years
In 1878 the Northern Cheyennes left what is now Oklahoma, where they had been incarcerated, and began an epic journey back to their homeland. They suffered great losses, but a small group of survivors reached its destination in southeastern Montana in 1879 and eventually won the right to a reservation there. A Northern Cheyenne Album presents a rare series of never-before-published photographs that document the lives of tribal people on the reservation during the early twentieth century—a period of rapid change.
Reservation physician and expert photographer Thomas B. Marquis captured Northern Cheyenne life in numerous images taken from 1926 to 1935. After 1960, former tribal president John Woodenlegs and others interviewed tribal elders and, drawing on tape recordings, composed the photos’ lively captions. Margot Liberty, editor of this volume, has added her own descriptions, filling in details of Northern Cheyenne culture and history from a scholar’s viewpoint.
A valuable record of an all-but-forgotten generation, this volume is also an inspiring tribute to the Northern Cheyenne elders whose resilience and adaptability helped ensure the future of their people.