"Frances Densmore, collector, with Mountain Chief of the Blackfoot tribe, 1906. On behalf of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology, Densmore made many field trips using Edison's recently invented wax cylinder recorder, as pictured here. [T]his photo, taken in Washington, D.C., reflects the special aims and conditions not of the "oral poetry act" but rather of what might be called the "photography act." For the benefit of the photographer and posterity, Mountain Chief has donned his ceremonial native dress (his own?). At his side are emblems of the vanishing Native American culture that Densmore was doing her best to document. The collector adopts a non-assuming pose, eyes lowered on the machine. Mountain Chief gestures as if declaiming, although any sound that he is uttering at this moment would not be registered, for he is seated before the listening horn of the machine, not the recording horn."

I can't even begin...

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