Edward S. Curtis is famous for his photographs of American Indians, who he was convinced were a “vanishing race.” His pictures ended up defining the look and even personality of the people he documented, at least in the eyes of non-Indians. Curtis didn’t like for his Indians to smile, and he even messed with the pictures a bit to make them fit his narrative—visit this blog post at Native Appropriations for a better explanation.
But guess what? Indians do smile. All the time! Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and Demockratees founder Ryan Red Corn have created a short film about smiling Indians, and it’s dedicated to Edward S. Curtis: