Orotones of Edward S. Curtis

This page will showcase some orotones that are from in my personal collection. All the photographs of the orotones were taken by me. I’ll provide information about each image including if it’s part of The North American Indian or is an unpublished image.

orotone of Canon Del Muerto

Canon Del Muerto

Canon Del Muerto was published in The North American Indian portfolio one as plate number twenty-nine.

Curtis’s description for it is:

This ‘Canon of the Dead’ is a branch of The Canon de Chelly, deriving its name from having been the scene of a massacre of a band of Navaho by a troop of Mexican soldiers.

Canon Del Muerto was in Curtis’s early orotone catalogs so it was certainly available, but it must not have been ordered often as it’s quite uncommon today. I would guess not more than 20 exist as an orotone and all I have seen were 11″x14″ just as this one is.

Orotone of Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness

This 11″x14″ orotone is titled Out of the Darkness. While this is a fairly uncommon master-print, Curtis did choose it as a photogravure to illustrate portfolio one of The North American Indian

This image is in portfolio one as plate 37. Curtis’s original explanation of the print follows:

In Tesakod canon, a small branch of Canon de Chelly. At the point where the picture was made the gorge is very narrow.

Edward S. Curtis Orotone Women of the Desert

Women of the Desert

This orotone is an 11×14. In addition to printing this image as a master-print, Curtis chose to use it as a portfolio photogravure in portfolio one of The North American Indian.

The photogravure is in portfolio one and is plate 27. Curtis’s original explanation of the photograph is:

The Navaho women are, for the greater part, the owners of the flocks, and invariably, with the children, the herders. They are so thoroughly at home on their scrubby ponies that they seem a part of them and probably excel all other Indians as horsewomen.