Studio portrait of a young unidentified Crow Indian man circa 1880-1890
September 05, 2020
Studio portrait of a young unidentified Crow Indian man circa 1880-1890. His legs are bare except for bands with bells around his calves. He is wearing a breechcloth, long necklaces, a feather roach, and a beaded belt with a feathered plume decoration in the back. He is holding a decorative banner. A similar image (MHS photograph 955-753) has this information: Mike Cowdery in 1993 identified the photographer as Orlando Scott Goff, Fort Custer, M.T. from 1888. Faith Bad Bear in 1993 identified the man's attire as a buffalo dance outfit.
The man is dressed for dance. He wears an otter skin as a necklace, circular ornaments made from horse harnesses with mirrors in the center, an animal head over his left arm, and a beaded belt with a symbol of tobacco on it. He is holding a whip (made up of several triangle shapes) and there is an animal skin behind it. He also holds a curved object, which is a buffalo tail (or something that symbolizes a buffalo tail). The man has two feathers standing up from his roach, which is traditional dance regalia.
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This portrait was taken by Orlando Scott Geoff(1843-1917). Orlando Scott Goff was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on September 10, 1843. He was the youngest of five children of Alfred Goff, shoemaker, and Adaline, née Giddings. In his late teens, Goff was apprenticed to learn the trade of carriage maker, but after the outbreak of the American Civil War, he enlisted in October 1861 at the age of 18 with the 10th Connecticut Regiment Infantry of the Union Army, seeing service in the Carolinas, Florida, and Virginia. On October 13, 1864, Goff was wounded at the Battle of Darbytown Road near Richmond, Virginia. He spent two months at a military hospital at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and upon his release, was promoted to 1st sergeant and later to 2nd lieutenant. On August 2, 1865, Goff was mustered out of service. He died at Boise, Idaho, on October 17, 1916.