"Edward Sheriff Curtis spent more than forty years photographing and documenting the Native peoples of North America, taking more than 40,000 photographs and amassing a staggering archive of documentary material about North American tribes and social groups. While many books have explored the artistic value of the images he created, The Many Faces of Edward Sherriff Curtis: Portraits and Stories from Native North America is the first to document his contributions to the field of anthropology." "Edward S. Curtis began documenting the Native peoples of North America in 1889, at a time when the U.S. government had, for the most part, pushed Native Americans onto reservations and was determined to destroy their cultures and social organizations by forcibly removing their children to government boarding schools, by depriving them of the right to speak their languages and practice their religions, and by carving up tribal lands into ever smaller portions and giving away sizable pieces to non-Natives. Curtis believed that his generation might be the last to see and hear these native people in the flesh." "Scholars Steadman Upham and Nat Zappia examine eighty of Curtis's portraits of Native Americans within three contexts: the Native American in U.S. history, the history of Native people worldwide during the same period, and the individual subjects, whose portraits are arranged from youngest to oldest. By situating Curtis's work within the larger arena of U.S. and world history, the gravity, determination, humor, and dignity of his portraits become vitally clear. The people he photographed were, in many cases, suffering degradation and hardship, but their faces speak of purpose and hope. More than seventy years after Curtis created his last photograph, these portraits speak not of the "vanishing Indian" he believed he was documenting for posterity, but of the resilience of entire nations, which continue to this day to persist and even to thrive in difficult circumstances."--BOOK JACKET.