Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.
Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.

Indian Catholic Church. [with] Indian Wedding.

[Menominee County, Wisconsin], [ca. 1895]. 2 original photographs, bromide prints, 19 x 24.25 cm and 19.5 x 24 cm, on larger paperboard mounts. One with ms. title on recto “Indian Catholic Church,” inscribed on verso “St. Joseph of the Wood Menominee Reservation WI” and “Pa, Carrie, Arthur, Iniz, Clara, Anna, Alfred”; the other with ms. title on recto “Indian Wedding,” inscribed on verso “St. Josep[h].”.

Two remarkable photos—one of an “Indian Wedding”—documenting the communal bond between Menominee people and local white folks at the St. Joseph of the Lake Church, located on the Menominee Reservation, in northeastern Wisconsin.

The St. Joseph of the Lake Church was established by Roman Catholic missionaries who settled in the area around 1875. The church was constructed in the 1890s largely by the Menominee under the direction of Father Blase Krake and cost some $3,000. St. Joseph’s church would play an essential role in the survival of Menominee traditions and operated as the community center for the South Branch area of their Reservation and also served white settlers in the region. While the Superintendent of the Menominee Reservation prohibited the speaking of the traditional language and the practice of traditional ceremonies, St. Joseph’s allowed the Menominee to carry out these activities on its property. The church thus became a sanctuary for the Menominee and their endangered way of life—enabling them, in turn, to transmit their heritage to future generations.

Pictured in the “Indian Wedding” photo is an outdoor banquet for an Indian man and his bride, who may be either Indian or Caucasian. The image shows the couple standing to the left of a large sawbuck table replete with food and surrounded by family members and others, many of whom are white. The bridegroom looks fairly withdrawn and across from the couple stand a white bridesmaid and the best man, who appears to be the groom’s brother. Next to the bride stands a seemingly mixed-raced girl. A number of Menominee people appear in the background, including a woman—perhaps the bridegroom’s mother—sitting at the head of the table. The inscription on the “Indian Wedding” photo reads “St. Josep[h],” indicating the couple were wedded at this church.

The second photo, entitled “Indian Catholic Church,” features scores of people in front of St. Joseph’s. Roughly half of those pictured appear to be Menominee, while the other half are white.

REFERENCES: The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. St. Joseph’s of the Lake Church History at menominee-nsn.gov

CONDITION: Some losses, chipping and light soiling to boards, “Indian Catholic Church” lightly worn in upper-right corner, and “Indian Wedding” bearing a tiny chip at lower-right corner; but overall very little wear to both images.

Item #5167

Price: $950.00

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