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[This Smithsonian article](http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/edward-curtis-epic-project-to-photograph-native-americans-162523282/?no-ist) mentions it in passing:
>The photographs of Edward Curtis represent ideals and imagery designed to create a timeless vision of Native American culture at a time when modern amenities and American expansion had already irrevocably altered the Indian way of life. By the time Curtis had arrived in various tribal territories, the U.S. government had forced Indian children into boarding schools, banned them from speaking in their native tongues, and made them cut their hair. This was not what Curtis chose to document, and he went to great pains to create images of Native Americans posing in traditional clothing they had long since put away, in scenes that were sometimes later retouched by Curtis and his assistants to eliminate any modern artifacts, such as the presence of a clock in his image, In a Piegan Lodge.
>Some critics have accused him of photographic fakery—of advancing his career by ignoring the plight and torment of his subjects. Others laud him, noting that he was, according to the Bruce Kapson Gallery, which represents Curtis’s work, “able to convey a dignity, universal humanity and majesty that transcend literally all other work ever done on the subject.”
[This page](http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award98/ienhtml/essay3.html) also has some information:
>Curtis paid natives to pose; he selected ornaments, vestments, and he played the natural light, tone, picturesque reflections, and the solitary nature of natives in his pictures. … Curtis paid natives to pose and dance in several simulated ceremonies, but he may not have understood the actual tricky scenes. The Navajo Yebechai Prayer [film by Curtis], for instance, was reversed by native dancers to protect their sense of the sacred. Curtis, however, was never at the actual ceremonies. He staged the dances out of season. “Navajo sensibilities” clearly were not his “primary considerations.” Curtis used “not only ‘phony’ costumes, additions, and poses,” observed James Faris in Navajo and Photography, “but indeed, in some cases actual phony Navajo.” … Curtis is lauded as a pictorialist, but not favorably reviewed as an ethnographic photographer. … he paid for native poses, staged, altered, and manipulated his pictures to create an ethnographic simulation as a pictorialist. … He removed parasols, suspenders, wagons, the actual traces of modernism and material culture in his pictures of natives. … He paid natives to pose as warriors at a time when their rights were denied, and their treaties were scorned and evaded by the federal government. …
>Dino Brugioni outlined “four distinct kinds of faked photographs” in Photo Fakery. The first two are the removal and insertion of details, and the other two are photomontage, and false captions. Curtis was clearly a photographic faker by his removal and insertions of details, and by false captions.