By: Tom Jones, Michael Schmudlach, Matthew Daniel Mason, Amy Lontree, & George A. Greendeer
People of the Big Voice
tells the visual history of Ho-Chunk families at the turn of the twentieth century and beyond as depicted through the lens of Black River Falls studio photographer Charles Van Schaick. The family relationships among those who sat for the photographer are clearly visible in these images. Sisters, friends, families, and young couples appear and reappear, fleshing out a narrative of the period, from 1879 to 1942, referred to as "the dark ages” in Indian tribal history.
Following introductory essays from three of the authors are more than three hundred beautifully detailed duotone photographs. Unique to the project are captions that identify over ninety percent of the individuals pictured—made possible by the continuing efforts of tribal members and genealogists.
A significant contribution to the history of Native peoples, People of the Big Voice
is a breathtaking portrayal of a resilient community whose story continues today.
is an assistant professor of photography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His work may be found in the National Museum of the American Indian and the Chazen Museum of Art. Michael Schmudlach
serves on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Board of Curators and has a lifelong relationship with the Ho-Chunk. Matthew Daniel Mason
is an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Amy Lonetree
an assistant professor of American studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and coeditor of The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations.George A. Greendeer
has been the Ho-Chunk Nation’s tribal genealogist since 2000. Tom Jones, Amy Lonetree, and George A. Greendeer are enrolled members of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
"People of the Big Voice
is the collaboration of many individuals who are committed to preserving the history of the Ho-Chunk. These photographs bring forth memories like carefully wrapped, stored items. Only when unwrapped do they reveal the cultural fabric of Ho-Chunk life.” —from the Foreword by Truman Lowe
Published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press
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