Edward S. Curtis
A MEDICINE HEAD-DRESS—BLACKFOOT
This photograph has an extremely shallow “depth of field” with only the man in the foreground in sharp focus and the background out of focus. Although the title is “A Medicine Head-Dress”, it is his face that we see the clearest. What is his expression? Is this photograph just about a head-dress?
By long usage the term “medicine” in the sense of supernatural has become firmly fixed in the literature of American Indians, and especially the plains tribes. A head dress of the sort here depicted consists of some part of the body, sometimes the entire skin, of the creature that appeared as a spirit in a dream of the wearer and instructed him how to have its help, especially in war. –Edward S. Curtis