Sioux Chief Kicking Bear, Northwestern Photo Co. Boudoir Card
Albumen boudoir card of Kicking Bear (ca 1846-1904), an Oglala who brought the Ghost Dance to the Pine Ridge Agency and unwittingly precipitated the massacre at Wounded Knee. The outdoor view is copyrighted and identified in the negative, Chief Kicking Bear, A Leading Chief of the Brule Hostile Indians, Pine Ridge, SD, with imprint of Northwestern Photographic Company, Chadron, NE on verso, which acquired the negative from George Trager. Trager's shadow -- with his view camera -- is readily apparent.
Incorrectly identified by Trager as a Brule, Kicking Bear was a relative of Sitting Bull and intimate of Crazy Horse. He was a survivor of the battles of the Rosebud, Little Big Horn and Slim Buttes. In the spring of 1890 he and another group of Lakota traveled by train to Nevada where they learned the Ghost Dance from the Paiute Wovoka. Returning to Pine Ridge, he held continuous dances throughout December of that year. After Wounded Knee, Kicking Bear and other dancers set up camp on White Clay Creek.
After attacking the Drexel Mission, Federal troops under the command of General Nelson Miles surrounded the camp and forced the surrender of Kicking Bear and his followers on January 15, 1891. This image almost certainly was taken about this time. Later that spring, he was released and toured with Buffalo Bill for two years before returning to Pine Ridge. An uncommon image.
Image has lightened, with chip in lower right corner. Mount with corner and edgewear, bumped corners.