Black Eagle’s Story



Colorado Alabaster

23.5 x 9 x 7

25.5 x 11 x 10.25 with walnut base

63 lbs

According to Edward Curtis, from whose pictorial history, “Visions of a Vanishing
Race” I used as a reference, Black Eagle was an Assiniboine warrior, born in 1834
in what is now North Dakota. Curtis was compiling a memorial of a large number
of tribes in the US in the early 1900’s. Information about his project spread from
word of mouth and some tribal leaders would ask for their people to be included
in his history. Some were more reluctant though, and Curtis would approach
them and say, “’Such and such a tribe will be in this record and you won’t. Your
children will try to find you in it and won’t be able, and they will think you didn’t
amount to anything at all, while the other tribe will be thought to be big people’.

This approach finally moved Chief Black Eagle… and after having been
belligerent and noncommittal all day toward Curtis, denying him even a picture,
the old chief showed up in Curtis’ tent at three o’clock in the morning, giving the
sleeping man quite a start as he laid a hand on his shoulder, and said, ‘I want the
book to have something in it about Black Eagle.’ ‘There will be if you’ll tell me
something to write,’ Curtis answered. Black Eagle’s boycott was over.”

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