We Are At Home
Pictures of the Ojibwe People
In this collection of stunning and storied photographs—ranging from daguerreotypes to studio portraits to snapshots—historian Bruce White explores historical images taken of Ojibwe people through 1950: A baby in a cradleboard. A family building a birch-bark canoe. Studio portraits of girlfriends. Snapshots from a grandmother’s album. These and other familiar scenes are showcased in We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.
This rich record of Native history and culture is available through a quirk of history: white settlement of Minnesota coincided with the development of photographic processes that allowed itinerant and studio photographers to capture images of local people and scenes, including those of the Ojibwe, who had called Minnesota home for centuries. White considers the negotiation that went on between the photographers and the photographed—and what power the latter wielded.
Ultimately, this book tells more about the people in the pictures—what they were doing on a particular day, how they came to be photographed, how they made use of costumes and props—than about the photographers who documented, and in some cases doctored, views of Ojibwe life. The result is a vivid history of a people at home in Minnesota’s landscape.
260 pp ~ illustrated — ©2007