Lori Tapahonso displays an original glass plate negative from the Frank Rinehart collection, one of many in the archives at the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum at Haskell University. This image shows Six Toes, a Kiowa Indian photographed by Rinehart in 1899.
Lori Tapahanso inspects glass plate negatives at the Haskell Cultural Center at Haskell University.
WAR MOTHERS STATUE
Although its large counterpart that sits outside the Cultural Center was vandalized earlier this year, the original War Mothers statue dwells within the building.
"Barry Coffin, who was the son of Tony Coffin, our former A.D., created a beautiful statue in honor of all the mothers of sons and daughters who served, fought and died in any war," Tapahonso says. "She has on her shawl four medallions with eagle feathers that represent the four branches of the military."
"Frank Rinehart was a photographer commissioned by the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha in 1898 to take photographs of a living exhibit. It was based on the fact the Indians were a dying culture. They invited delegates from all the tribes to come together, and there were 500 delegates who came out to Omaha and set up camp for a week," Tapahonso says.
Haskell houses 809 glass plate negatives from the Rinehart collection in a temperature-controlled storage facility at the Cultural Center. A smaller collection resides at the Smithsonian Natural Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
This particular picture is titled "Band of Assiniboine, 1898."
GARDEN OF HEALING
Wrapped in a semi-circle around the front of the building rests the Garden of Healing.
"It contains between 18 to 20 different kinds of plants. These plants were native to the region but also were known to have been used by tribes that were originally in this area," Tapahonso says.
People are encouraged to pick the plants for whatever medicinal purposes needed.
"If you look at homeopathic literature today, a lot of the plants that we have in our garden have been incorporated into other uses," she says, citing examples such as the vivid blue vervain (also called blue verbena) that was used as a sedative and to cure jaundice and inflammation.