RPPC photo postcard of Jackson Sundown riding a bucking horse at the rodeo, his hat just flew off.
“Jackson Sundown” champion Indian Rider (Doubleday) Lewiston, Round-up
'Doubleday' is Ralph Russell Doubleday, prominent rodeo photographer from 1910-1952.
Based on AZO photographic paper used, dates it from 1910-1930.
Some toning on back.
(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)
His birth name was Waaya-Tanah-Toesits-Kahn (Earth Left by the Setting Sun). When he reluctantly accepted the reality of white men ruling his homeland on the great green hills of the Wallowa in Idaho and Oregon, the young Nez Perce warrior carefully chose a new name. He would be called Jackson Sundown. That’s what is inscribed on his long-forgotten Idaho grave, and that’s what’s in the rolls of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
The nephew of Chief Joseph, Sundown was born in 1863 while his parents were on a horse-stealing raid against a Montana tribe. Horses and riding would have been in his blood regardless. The Nez Perce were noted for their superior horsemanship and for their beautifully spotted Appaloosas. By the time he became a fixture on the rodeo circuit, Sundown had already defied the odds: He’d fled for his life at age 14 with Chief Joseph’s band of 800 Nez Perce after the fierce battle against the Army at White Bird Pass, been badly burned and nearly killed while sleeping in his torched tepee during the cavalry’s night ambush at the Big Hole, and suffered three gunshot wounds defending his decimated and freezing band from the charging columns of Gen. Nelson Miles. He ultimately found safety in the Canadian Sioux camp of Sitting Bull and stayed there two years, living mainly off the land in the last days of the buffalo.
Eventually he would make his way back to Nez Perce country in Idaho…. All the while, he’d been developing a reputation among Indian and ranching communities alike as a skilled horseman.
The only full-blood American Indian to ever win a professional rodeo world championship, Sundown was an honored hero to both races that day (1916). He asked the presentation committee to engrave his wife’s name on the coveted silver saddle.