'Indian Medas Showing the Contents of Their Sacks to Each Other', 1855.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Robert Hinshelwood after Captain Seth Eastman, US Army. A Mide or Meda was a type of secret society. In his drawings and paintings, soldier-artist Eastman (1808-1875) sought to preserve the way of life of a people he believed to be disappearing. The Native American population of the Americas was drastically reduced after the arrival of the Europeans due to war, disease, forced removal and relocation, and the destruction of traditional ways of life. Illustration from 'Information respecting the history, condition and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United States. Part 5' by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (1793-1864), published in Philadelphia in 1855.