The Chief.

Chief Joseph, Nez Perce - Gill

This portrait of Chief Joseph was taken when he visited Washington, DC, in April of 1900. Nearing the end of his life (he died in 1904), he had traveled east once again to speak about white men encroaching on his land. De Lancey Gill, the photographer, was the last – and most prolific – of about a dozen photographers who worked with Indians for the Smithsonian’s Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). Until his retirement in 1932, Gill took between 2,000 and 3,000 individual and group portraits.


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