Edward Sheriff Curtis, the Dance of Memory

Since the late 1800s, Edward Curtis (Wisconsin 1868 – Los Angeles 1952) has covered plains, valleys, forests, mountains, staring primordial plates of the humble and monumental figures of a civilization, a race, that the mad lust expansionist the unquenchable thirst for power and wealth western white man was exterminating: Indians of North America.

Monuments in wrinkled faces – such as thick bark, transfixed eyes listening to the glow of the stars, arms and hands outstretched to welcome the silent song of the moon, bare feet, as mild and careful percussion, playing the drum of the earth. Faces of mothers, wives, young women who guard and shape the bread of life. The profile of the hut, a simple round or triangle, sheltering from the heat and cold. Still life of household items: carpets, basket, plate, vase, jug. The flames and smoke of a fire. The fast and slow movements of the horse, tool and companion of a calm and necessary nomadism. The mirror of water, the sacred source of the river that gives every day the miracle of life. The vast theater of the canyon, where an observant eye can listen to diverse forms of the friendly nature. Finally, the inevitable, a famous figure of the pen, reality and symbol of the eagle, the hawk, the flight, the sovereign presence of the Great Spirit.

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