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Friday, January 13, 2012

The Donald A. Cadzow Photograph Collection

Kainah (Blood) man, 1882 (P01531)
The Donald A. Cadzow photograph collection documents numerous indigenous cultures across North America, Canada, and Alaska through the various expeditions and archeological excavations he conducted for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation from 1916 until 1927.

The son of Hugh and Nellie Cadzow, Donald was born in Auburn, New York in 1894. In 1911, at the age of 17, he traveled to the far Canadian Northwest to live with his uncle Daniel Cadzow at the Rampart House, a Hudson Bay Company trading post on the Alaska-Yukon boundary line. After five years there, Cadzow returned to the United States. He began working for George Gustav Heye in the fall of 1916, but enlisted as seaman in the U.S.N.R.F. on January 20, 1918, only to be released from service on December 22 that same year. He returned to work for Heye at the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation on January 1, 1919, and worked there until 1928.

Young Assiniboin (Stoney) woman, 1926 (N11750)
Between 1917 and 1919, Cadzow, collected artifacts and archaeological materials from the Copper and Kogmollok Eskimo, the Loucheux, Slavey, and Woodland Cree of Alberta, Canada. In 1919, Cadzow assisted Alanson Skinner on an archeological excavation in Cayuga County, New York. Cadzow next worked with Mark Harrington: excavating a site on Staten Island, New York in 1920; on the Hawikku expedition to study Zuni Indian culture in McKinley County, New Mexico in 1921; and to Arkansas and Missouri in 1922. In 1924 and 1925 he conducted an expedition to a prehistoric Algonkian burial site on Frontenac Island, Cayuga Lake, in New York; traveled to the Bungi tribe in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, and the Prairie Cree in Saskatchewan, Canada. He continued this work in 1926 again visiting the Prairie Cree and also the Bush Cree in Saskatchewan, the Assiniboin in Saskatchewan and Alberta; the Iroquois and the Northern Piegan (Blackfoot) in Alberta. In 1927, the last year that Cadzow worked for Heye, he assisted George P. Putnam on an expedition to Baffin Island and the Hudson Bay district to visit the Sikosuilarmiut, Akuliarmiut, and Quaumauangmiut Eskimos.

Pokiak (Inuvialuit Inupiaq), 1917-1919 (N02023)
After his work at MAI, in 1928 he took a job in the Bond Department of Lage & Co., a brokerage company in New York City. He was later state archeologist for the Pennsylvania Historical Commission from ca. 1929-39; and executive secretary from 1939-45. He was also treasurer of the Eastern States Archeological Federation from 1940-42. In 1945 he was named executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and held the position until 1956. He died on February 9, 1960, in Pennsylvania. During his career Cadzow gave a number of lectures and radio talk programs, and published extensively in Indian Notes (a publication of Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation), for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in a variety of publications, and several books.

See more of Cadzow's photographs, as well as objects he collected for the museum here.

~Jennifer R. O'Neal, Head Archivist, NMAI Archive Center

1 comment:

  1. Loved it Jennifer, you really captured my interest! I look forward to your next blog.