Camps & Rations.
Prints of Soule's images can be found in most major institutional collections today including the National Anthropological Archives (Smithsonian Institution); the Huntington Library; the Heard Museum; the Denver Public Library; the Beinecke Library; and the Oklahoma Historical Society. There is no known single source that contains an example of each of Soule's images.
Two published sources for many of Soule's images are Nye, Plains Indian Raiders: University of Oklahoma Press (1968) and Belous and Weinstein, Will Soule, Indian Photographer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1869-74: Ward Ritchie Press (1969).
Soule is probably best known for his portraits of Indian people, sometimes taken in the field and sometimes in improvised studio-type settings. The focus of this paper will be on some of Soule's images of Arapaho camps. The identifications of some of Soule's photographs as to date, location and even tribal affiliation are not settled. The same image maybe attributed as Cheyenne or Arapaho or just "Indian" people depending upon the source.
Caption: Figure 1 is a photo of U.S. Army Officers at Camp Supply, Indian Territory, in 1869. The Camp was established as a supply depot during the 1868 campaigns against the Indians, including the attack upon the Cheyenne camp on the Washita. Our primary interest in this photo is that it includes several Indian people on the right side.
Caption: Figure 1A, from the larger image, depicts an Indian man on horseback carrying a wide umbrella and wearing a large silver cross on his chest. His bowcase-quiver is visible to the right, on his back. Figure 1B depicts five men and one woman from the same larger image. The two standing men are wearing clothing and ornaments typical of successful Southern Plains men of the time. Those include a larger hairpipe chest ornament, otter turban and braid wrappings, silver armbands and a tomahawk on the man on the left. The man on the right is dressed in the typical vest and shirt outfit, wears a blanket with a beaded band belted around his waist, and carries an Army saber. The fingers of his right hand are covered with long silver "scoop" rings.
The people in the officers' photo (Figure 1) may be Arapaho, but that is just a guess. The man with the saber certainly looks like Ken Weidner, who is known to many readers.
Caption: Figure 2 (above) is a view of Lone Wolfs Kiowa camp. Lone Wolf was one of the primary Kiowa leaders in the late 1860s and into the mid 1870s. He spent several years imprisoned by the U.S. government at Ft. Marion Florida, and died in 1879 shortly after his return. The women of this camp have clearly been busy sewing new tipi covers, and most of those visible are markedly white. A much more used lodge is visible near the center and in
Caption: Figure 2A (below). There are a number of baggage scaffolds around the camp.
The older lodge has a much newer band of lighter colored material stretched around the lower part. This same practice is shown in other buffalo tipis in Soule photos. Some seem to be made of buffalo hide while others like this one seem to be canvas. These banks of material may have covered badly worn lower sections of the lodge cover until a new one could be made.
Caption: Figure 3 (left) is an image of Pacer's tipi. Figure 3A (below) is a detail of that image. Pacer was a Kiowa-Apache chief who was respected and influential on the Southern Plans at this time. He died in 1875, perhaps 5 or 6 years after this photo. Pacer is seated at the left side, and the man leaning on the baggage scaffold is his adult son.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of this image is the striped cloth tipi cover, at a time when the vast majority of tipis in the Soule photos are made of buffalo hide. In addition, the family's baggage or much of it is stacked on a scaffold and covered by a tarp. These low scaffolds are common in camps that Soule photographed. On the left, visible under the edge of the tarp, are two large containers, which may be packed with dried meat or pemmican. These were usually unpainted and several of them exist in museum collections. The color image is one of these meat sacks, collected by Dr. Palmer in 1868, National Museum of Natural History. Painted parfleches are under the meat sacks.
Caption: Soule titled the image in Figure 4 "Indians receiving rations." This probably happened at Camp Supply in 1868 or 1869. A large pile of goods is visible to the left of the circle of horses, and several non-Indian people are looking on.
An interesting feature of this photo is that the horse gear seems to be almost all traditional Indian-made tack. We can see travois, travois baskets, riding horses and pack horses.
Caption: Figure 4A (left) is a detail showing one of the many of the riding horses that are equipped with cruppers connecting the base of the tail to the rear of the saddle to keep it from sliding forward. Southern Plains cruppers are rare today despite the number shown in this image. Figure 4B (below) is a Southern Arapaho crupper similar those shown in the photo.
Caption: Figure 4C, one of my favorites, is a dog taking a nap in the shade of a travois. This detail was taken from left of center of the larger Figure 4 image.
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|Title Annotation:||Wills Soule: Details-sPart 2|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2017|
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