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Although we do not know much about this photograph, the size of the image (a half plate daguerreotype) means it would have been quite expensive at the time (the early 1850s). This, combined with the fact that it is a dramatically posed studio portrait, suggests that the photographer may have made this photograph for display as promotion for the studio. Apart from the mystery of who the two men were, this photograph raises a number of questions. For example, how did these two Native Americans in full regalia come to be in a formal studio setting, possibly in a city? Were they ambassadors from their tribe, for example, who were invited by the photographer to have their portrait taken while they passed through or stayed in town on their mission? Was the combat pose something chosen by the subjects of the photograph, or was it suggested to them by the photographer, as a way to play to expectations of whites that the "Indians" were a savage race?