Grant Richards, Tonkawa, 1898, by Rinehart

TonkawaUnmounted 9 1/4 x 7 3/8 platinotype. “Copyright 1898 / F.A. Rinehart, Omaha. Chief Grant Richards / – Tonkawa – No 1057″ in negative.

Originally located near the Texas Gulf Coats, the Tonkawa were among the earliest tribes north of the Rio Grande to obtain horses traded up from Mexico. They had scouted for the U.S. Army, againstg their Comanche and Kiowa enemies, during the 1860s and 1870s. Devastated by disease, the small number of survivors were resettled in Indian Territory among their Waco and Wichita allies. Grant Richards was their last Head Chief. His fave heavily pitted by smallpox, he holds an eagle tail fan. His hair is bound by beaded straps trimmed with bullion braid from an army officer’s epaulets. A hairpipe breastplate covers his white shirt and black-wool vest. Tied to his scalplock is a beaded tab with a trailing strap studded with silver buttons. [text by Mike Cowdrey]


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