Sunday, May 14, 2017


Occasionally I buy cards from Ebay sellers....this one caught my eye and my NE/Great Lakes collection can always use more cards!

The Wyandot Indians Attending Services at the Wyandot Mission Church 1830
Curteich, published for the Wyandot Museum

They Wyandot, also known as the Wendat or Huron, were a confederation of several communities when Europeans arrived in the 1600s and began to conduct trade. Disease and conflict over resources, including beavers, reduced their numbers and strength. The group dispersed and some moved to Ohio where they supported Americans against the English, although subsequent treaties reduced their territory. In 1819, the Methodist Church established a mission to the Wyandot in Ohio, its first to Native Americans. In the 1840s they were removed to Indian Territory of Kansas and later Oklahoma.

The Curteich Printing Company produced large numbers of postcards, including many with a Native American theme. They closed in 1978 and materials were archived at a Chicago museum; recently it has moved to the Newberry. For more information see:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Oklahoma Cherokee

Wonderful new cards came from Oklahoma recently, courtesy of the Easter Bunny! All these cards celebrate the unique history of the Oklahoma Cherokee and bear the official tribal seal as well as the web address for Cherokee tourism:

Here an interpretor demonstrates farming at a recreated village in Park Hill. Women tended the gardens, made baskets, sewed clothing and added their voices to political decsions.

Knowledge and education have always been important to the Cherokee people. This statue honors Sequoyah, the creator of the written Cherokee alphabet. Within a few years almost all tribal members could read & write, producing newspapers and legal documents before removal. The statue stands on the grounds of Northeastern State University, previously the Cherokee women's seminary.

 The 3 remaining columns of the Female Seminary building dating from 1851

The Cherokees used their alphabet to produce a dual language newspaper before removal and they began printing in Oklahoma as well. This is the the 1st edition of the Advocate (1844), the paper continued until 1906. In 2010 the original printing press was restored and is on display.

Once they had arrived in Indian Territory, the Cherokee began to rebuild their governmental institutions. This is the Capitol Building of the Cherokee Nation, used for the Executive, judicial and legislative branches, built in 1869 after the Civil War damaged much of Native life. It was restored in 2013 and continues to be used by the Cherokee tribe.

These cards offer a nice tour through Cherokee history and culture without being stereotypical. Nice shopping by the Easter Bunny!


Had a very nice card exchange from a man in Washington...he has traveled around Alaska and the NW, picking up some very nice Native cards along the way! This card features the Shoshone-Bannock of Idaho. Today they are a small community of about 5000 tribal members. Historically they lived in a territory located in parts of Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Canada. They hunted, fished, collected wild foods and participated in regional trade but they were impacted by travelers on the Oregon Trail. Their lands were reduced by treaties signed in the 1860s and they lost more in later years.

Its very nice to add cards from this region to my collection and I hope to find more!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hummingbird Dancer

Today's mail bring a nice card featuring a Tocha or Hummingbird Kachina dancer, performing during the bean dance. This dance is held in Pueblo communities in February and starts the ritual cycle associated with Kachinas, spiritual beings who spend their winters in the mountains and bring prosperity to Native peoples. This image was painted by Cliff Bahnimptewa (1937-1984), a Hopi artist who painted many Kachina figures, and is attributed to the Heard Museum located in Flagstaff, AZ (1973).

It carries postal markings on both the image and text sides.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cheyenne Ledger Art

A new art style developed among Plains native peoples during the late 1800s. Pictorial art, made with colored pencils on lined paper often used by merchants, related personal deeds as well as community events. As a result of the Red River War, members of the Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne tribes were sent to prison in Florida where locals helped the men develop new skills, including art, that could be sold.

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OK City offers a postcard of a Buffalo Hunt drawn by Bear's Heart (Southern Cheyenne), produced sometime in the mid 1870s, probably while he was incarcerated at Ft. Marion, Florida. More of his work can be found in Bear's Heart: Scenes from the Life of a Cheyenne Artist of One Hundred Years Ago with Pictures by Himself (1977).

Additional examples of Plains ledger art have been collected and are made available at:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Lakota Purse

My Native/Indigenous subject cards are a nice mix of tourism souvenirs, historical photos, and museum objects. Museums occasionally print photos of objects in their collections, producing postcards for sale in their gift shops...(a project I plan to explore in the future considers the role that gift shop items play in extending knowledge about cultures to the public).

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City has many wonderful objects in their collection, including this beaded Lakota purse made in 1905.

Beadwork increased during the reservation period (1880-1920)...women made beautiful objects as gifts, for ceremonial purposes, and for everyday use as well as sale or trade at local stores. Items also circulated among tribes, given or exchanged in friendship and new marriages. Increasingly, women beaded objects associated with EuroAmerican culture including pillows, tablecloths, purses, watch fobs, hats, and umbrellas. Few artists make these types of objects today, but occasionally one can find them in fine art galleries.

Friday, December 2, 2016


A Postcrosser in Chile saw my comment in a forum about collecting Indigenous subjects cards and offered to send one from South America!

She kindly mailed this card; the text reads:
Pueblo Slek'nam (Onas). Tanu, pot-bellied and gentle, happy and inoffensive. Costume that forms part of the Hain adolescent initiation ceremony, pertaining to the Slek'nam peoples (Onas).

 but in her message she noted that the people were hunted and exterminated in Tierra del Fuego, with the government paying a bounty for proof of death. The majority of the group declined but a small number of tribal members and mixed-heritage individuals remain in scattered areas of Argentina.