Set of three RPPC photo postcards showing Ojibwe aboriginal performers in the annual "Hiawatha Pageant" in Petoskey Michigan.
Card #1 has embossed at bottom right © GRACE CHANDLER HORN. The other postcards have similar but very faint marking.
Undated. Photographic paper used (‘AZO’) dates them from 1904-1918
Written on them, at top on back “Bob Sessions”.
Card #1 Woman and Child
Woman standing outdoors, dressed in traditional clothing, and holding baby in a cradleboard. Clothing with lots of beading.
Smudging on back. Oxidation along edges.
Card #2 Young child
Young boy wearing headdress in front of tee-pee.
Fair-poor condition Image has chips on photo with missing paper. Stained back. Remnants of text written in red ink.
Card #3 Woman posing
Posed photo of woman wearing beaded headband and necklace. The "Other" Princess Hiawatha who some believe was portrayed by Grace's unknown daughter.
Poor condition. Image has chips on photo with missing paper. Stained back.
(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photos for sale)
Grace Chandler (1879 – February 12, 1967), also known as Grace Chandler Horn, was an American photographer based in Michigan, best known for her photographs of Native American subjects.
Chandler started her work in photographer as an assistant to her brother, Charlie Chandler, at his photography studio. As Grace Chandler Horn, she operated the Horn Art Shop in Petoskey, Michigan with her husband from 1899 to 1913, and then on her own. Her shop was part of the tourist attractions built around the annual "Hiawatha Pageant" in Petoskey, so its best sellers were prints and postcards related to that event. Her photographs of the Ojibwe performers and scenes in the pageant were published in 1911 as illustrations in an edition of Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha A second volume featuring her work appeared the next year, as an illustrated libretto of the pageant, published by the railroad.
Many Native American Indian roadside attractions were popular in the in the 20th Century. Michigan Native Indian culture, craft businesses and souvenir shops originally were located in many spots such as Houghton Lake. Performances were very popular to travelers and important to the communities as well. Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, Tawas, Baraga and other communities benefited from this era . Totem poles, indian village scale models, a chapels, gardens, a historic museums, and numerous scenes of Chippewa and Ottawa Indian life were depicted. Indian Tribe members acted as both educators and performers.