Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


When I saw this photograph at the antique shop, I had to have it. This woman has a rather typical dress, but her hairstyle and the decorative element on her breast are not typical. As you look closely, you can see feathers and beads on the dress. That coupled with the  obvious braid made me wonder if this woman is a Native American, what back in the day would have been termed an Indian.

The photographer was Henry Shurtleff in Amboy, IL. I found two additional references for this photographer both dated in the 1880s.

5 thoughts on “Native American?

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    I had to look to see where Amboy, IL was… looks like a far-suburb of Chicago.

    I wonder if she was in one of those traveling “wild west shows”?


  2. mousleyka says:

    I’ve got a WordPress account now.


  3. Amboy has a great history..it is said that someone asked an Indian boy what tribe he belonged to and he said “Am Boy” .
    Yes she looks Native American..that feather/bow thing most likely has some special meaning..from my experience they are very superstitious.
    She looks Sioux to me..but that is just my impression:)


  4. I’m not sure of the Indian connection. The decorative bow looks more like a prize award or a fraternal society badge. Medals, emblems, etc. were very common fashion accessories and difficult to identify today.


  5. tyrogers6200 says:

    It’s a beautiful picture, she does have an ethic look to her.


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