Käsebier's last portrait (below, right) seems the most personal and representative of Zitkala-Sa's experience as a Lakota woman far away from her home. In this portrait, shot in profile, Zitkala-Sa appears in European-style dress, but clutches an Indian basket to her chest. Her facial expression is neither dreamy nor faraway; instead her face could be read as angry, worried, stoic, or even defiant. This is a far cry from the dreamy expression captured in Keiley's image, taken the same year, in which Zitkala-Sa appears much older, and passive, eyes downcast. In Käsebier's portrait, Zitkala-Sa faces the future with her chin up.
Recommended reading: Barbara L. Michaels, Gertrude Käsebier: The Photographer and Her Photographs (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1992), especially pp. 25-44.
Prepared by Professor Catherine Lavender for HSS 502 (Honors Seminar--American Frontiers and Borderlands), The Department of History, The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: Wednesday 13 September 2000.