Wendy Red Star, 1880 Crow Peace Delegation


Wendy Red Star, 1880 Crow Peace Delegation: Peelatchiwaaxpáash/Medicine Crow (Raven), Peelatchixaaliash/Old Crow (Raven), Déaxitchish/Pretty Eagle, Bia Eélisaash/Large Stomach Woman (Pregnant Woman) aka Two Belly, Alaxchiiaahush/Many War Achievements or Plenty Coups aka Chíilaphuchissaaleesh/Buffalo Bull Facing The Wind, 2014, 10 inket prints and red ink on paper, 16 15/16 x 11 15/16 inches (each) © Wendy Red Star (Portland Art Museum)


Wendy Red Star

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Key points

  • The Crow Peace Delegation of 1880 included Medicine Crow and five other chiefs who traveled to Washington DC to discuss land rights and negotiations over building the Northern Pacific Railroad through Crow territory.
  • Although these are portraits of individual chiefs, the photographs reflect the deliberate erasure of Native American culture that served to dehumanize the Crow and other indigenous peoples in the U.S. The use of these images in popular reproductions today continues the practice of outsiders commercializing Indian identity.
  • Red Star uses her artistic process to assert each man’s individual identity and accomplishments, as well as to learn more about her own culture as a Crow Indian and to share it with others.

Learn about this object at the Portland Museum of Art

Visit Wendy Red Star’s website

Learn more about Crow culture and history

Read more about the Bureau of American Ethnography that hired Bell and others to document Native American culture

View this online exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian addressing cultural appropriation of Native Americans


More to think about

Wendy Red Star’s commentary on these images restore specific and personal details of Medicine Crow and his colleagues that were erased in both the original photographs and their reinterpretations in popular culture. She creates a fuller and more complicated history by adding information that an outsider may not know. Think about photographs of your family that reflect your cultural heritage or personal stories. What details are excluded from the image, or might be unknown to an outsider? How might you annotate a document from your own history so that it tells a more complete story?


Cite this page as: Wendy Red Star and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Wendy Red Star, 1880 Crow Peace Delegation," in Smarthistory, March 8, 2018, accessed May 26, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/peace-delegation/.