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Open Access Publications from the University of California

 A New Look At Some Old Data: The Nisenan Photographs of Alexander W. Chase


In 1877, Stephen Powers wrote an extended passage on the topic of money and wealth among Native Californians, and illustrated it by itemizing the treasured possessions of a specific Nisenan chief’s family. His account was originally accompanied by four woodcuts based on photographs created in 1874 by Alexander Chase; those photographs are reproduced here, and compared with several additional images from the 1850s to suggest other possible social ramifications of some of the ‘wealth’ items on Powers’ list.

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