The Bureau of American Ethnographic Prints


The beautiful chromolithograph prints, hand-drawn and hand-colored by Native Americans, were created in the 1890s, and published by the U.S. Bureau of American Ethnology. 

The original illustrated books are sought after eagerly by collectors. But, because of their age, the color prints in the old books are faded, invariably discolored, yellow and show evidence of foxing and other blemishes. 

All of the original colorful prints from the classic books below have been carefully reproduced and digitally restored to their original colorful and vibrant condition. You can now purchase and enjoy these reproductions of the originals chromolithographs here on the Native American Ethnographic Prints site  — almost as if you just opened one of the following books over a century ago:   

1. Eighth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Smithsonian. 1893. Washington, DC. Chas. Hart & Sons Lith., N.Y.

In this volume are chromolithographs of sand paintings, masks and other ceremonial items and blanket rugs of the Navajo.

2. Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Smithsonian Institution. 1895-96; part II. Washington, DC 1898.

In this volume are chromolithographs of pottery, vases, mugs, bowls, and dippers from the important Hopi archeological sites Awatobi and Sikyatki. 

Awatobi was a pueblo of the Hopi tribe on a mesa southeast of Walpi, Arizona, and an original village of the Tusayan Province of early Spaniards. Awatobi was visited by several Spanish explorers in the 1500’s, and It became the Franciscan mission seat of San Bernardino in 1629. After the 1680 Pueblo rebellion, no Spanish priests were established among the Hopi. But, in 1700 Father Garaycoechea visited Awatobi and baptized 73 natives. The Awatobi were accused by other Hopi pueblos of undue sympathy for the Spanish friar’s attempt to convert them to Christianity, and Walpi and Mashongnovi dwellers joined in an attack on Awatobi. They set fire to the pueblo, killing many of its inhabitants, including all men, and carrying off women and children to the other pueblos, chiefly to Mashongnovi, Walpi and Oraibi. Awatobi was never again inhabited. 

Sikyátki is another archeological site and former Hopi village on the eastern side of First Mesa, in what is now Navajo County, Arizona. The village was inhabited by Kokop clan of the Hopi from the 14th to the 17th century. Jesse Walter Fewkes led a Smithsonian Institution funded excavation of the site in 1895. During the excavations many well-preserved ceramic sherds were found. The designs on the sherds inspired the artist Nampeyo; sparking the Sikyatki revival in polychrome pottery. 

Sikyátki, which means "Yellow House" in the Hopi language, according to oral tradition was burned and its population exterminated by the neighboring village of Walpi. The dispute erupted into violence when a villager from Sikyátki cut off the head of a sister of a man from Wálpi who had offended him.

3. Twenty-First Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Smithsonian Institution. 1899-00; part II. Washington, DC. 1903. Chromolithographs by Heliotype Co., Boston.

In this volume are chromolithographs of Hopi Katcinas (Kachinas), commissioned by Jesse Walter Fewkes. Fewkes was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and trained as a zoologist at Harvard University. He later turned to ethnological studies of the native tribes in the American Southwest. In 1889, Fewkes became leader of the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition, named for its patron Mary Hemenway. Fewkes documented the lifestyle and rituals of the Zuni and Hopi tribes.

Fewkes surveyed the ruins of cultures in the American Southwest. He supervised the excavation of the Casa Grande  ruins in southern Arizona, a Hohokam site, and the Mesa Verde ruins in southern Colorado, an Ancient Pueblo site. While studying Hopi religious rituals and festivities, Fewkes compiled descriptions and drawings of the Hopis' Katsinam. He commissioned several Hopi artists, including Kutcahonauu (White Bear) and Homovi, both knowledgeable in the Katsina cult and with the least outside influence in art, to produce series of paintings of the Hopis’ supernatural beings, the Katsinam. This Codex Hopi, a manuscript of all the known Hopi Katsinam was the first permanent documentation of the ceremonial performers and preserved the existence of the Katsinam that otherwise may have ceased to appear.

4. Twenty-second Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Part II. 1900-1901. Washington, D.C.

In this volume are chromolithographs of The Hako: A Pawnee Ceremony.

5. Twenty-Third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Smithsonian Institution. 1901-02; part II. Washington, DC. 1904. Chromolithographs by A Hoen & Co. Lith.

In this volume are chromolithograph illustrations of masks and ceremonial items of the Zuni Indians.