USGS Office of Tribal Relations
The description provided below is the text that appears on the Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month poster and an explanation of the images used in the poster.
American Indian Heritage Month recognizes the intertribal cultures of Native Americans and seeks to enlighten individuals about their customs. USGS created the poster to increase public knowledge of Native American heritage, history, art and tradition.
Historic photographs courtesy of the Blue Cloud Abbey Collection, Marvin, South Dakota.
The poster consists of a large image of a Native American woman possibly at Stephan, South Dakota with 5 smaller images. The 5 smaller images are:
Maza Win (Mah-zah-we) poses with her new spouse, Opawinge "One Hundred" on their wedding day. Picture taken in the Post Office building at Stephan, South Dakota.
A man, woman, and child standing outside a teepee.
Titled, "Ozuye Wicasa," - A Warrior Man. The glass plates for this majestic image were exposed near the backwaters of the river bottoms near Yankton or Greenwood, South Dakota, between 1886 and 1900. The rider's dress includes clothes worn in traditional Native American dance occasions: moccasins, a shirt appropriate for a pow-wow, or wacipi, a breastplate, and personal medicine indicating a commitment to the traditional Lakota Sacred Pipe religion. Notice the traditional dancer's belt draped across the saddle horn. This man most likely paused for a picture before riding his horse to a Native American dance hall.
A Native American man holding a feather fan.
Big Tobacco, a Dance Hall Chief, circa 1900. The U.S. Government allowed Native Americans to build halls to host tribal dances. When tribal members wanted to hold a dance, the Dance Hall Chief would seek permission from Federal agents. Dance Hall Chiefs would beat on a drum to communicate to tribal members the time of the dance. The city of Yankton, South Dakota, featured seven dance halls from the 1890s to 1934. Dance Halls served to preserve Native American cultural traditions. Notice the Presidential medallion hanging from Big Tobacco's neck. President Rutherford B. Hayes issued the medallion, which was presented to Big Tobacco. Big Tobacco stands in front of his home, a U.S. Government-issued dwelling. The house is located next to the Hay Hall (Grass Dance Hall). This building was destroyed by a tornado several years after this photo was taken