|While we do not know anything about the identities of the people in this photograph from the latter part of the 19th century, there are some things we can say about it. |
To begin, this image is of a kind know as a spirit photograph. Such photographs were produced using double exposures and other manipulations of the photographic process to produce an image that seems to include the spirits of those not present or no longer living. There was a craze for spirit photographs in this period, in part because the aura of photography as a scientific process that supposedly captured reality could be used to give a sense of realism to a spirit world.
In this particular photograph, the spirits are child and an older Native American man. At the center of the image is a young man in Western clothing, but it is possible that he is a Europeanized Native American himself.