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These Photos From Over a Century Ago Show Something AMAZING

Native American history is tough to talk about. Native Americans cultivated a beautiful, rich culture. But their history also possesses a heartbreaking display of just how cruel humans can be when you look at the way that their culture was destroyed by white settlers. It's unfortunately easy for us to forget; the only images most of us see from that time period consists of black and white imagery that feels distant and dated. But when filmmaker Raul Ratner researched Native American history, he was surprised to find there were several color photos available. The color images were created by artists who colored the black and white photographs by hand, which produced a stunning hybrid between painting and photograph.

Here are 14 incredible images that show Native American life in a way you've never seen before.

55d6c3ebece01a544c55e0df6a4a1caa_2 This first image dates back to sometime between the 1870s and 1880s. It's a portrait of Ute Chief Ignacio. cf04b94a1624f0c196ff617dbe2af938_3 This next image offers a glimpse into the family life of Natives in Alberta, Canada. 466f3030554564012746f4adec185413_4 At one point, it was not uncommon for photographers to hire Native Americans to pose for photographs, as we see in the image above. a20f59f73dec62625d05aa1b157d3f72_5 This image captures the beauty and craftsmanship Native American cultures possess. Just look at that headpiece. 77d09862c6728b09579003ad21ec1622_6 This photo was taken using a glass lantern slide, an early iteration of the projector slide. b056bba69cd936223e1dbe86e1fac6d3_7 The timid little girl in this photo apparently wasn't sure about the photographer. 7447e8c4e08b84e31e176d031e36fff8_8 Just look at the beauty of those garments! b56c1ec60c196b388286bcdaf0fa6bd3_9 This photo shows Si Wa Wata Wa, a Zuni elder. The photo is dated to 1903. ac1d221b4d15bf3d803fa92b48dcacce_10 This photo, taken in 1898, shows a man by the name of Bartelda. He belonged to the Apache nation. 7ea9a601613226b9dd15680e5fcf8be7_11 This photo was also taken in 1898 and it shows Cheyenne Chief Wolf Robe. 80c3f8f8163e340ec75a797a29c0329b_12 The story of the woman above is incredible. She came to be known as Mrs. Bad Gun after avenging her husband's death. 51d6d21cd5875ec4c99cd3ddfeaa0b26_14 The time taken to color these photographs provides a means of connecting with the past. 4091e11ec22dea842ae61bb18100974a_15 6561dd536c94e52f19d8f0a119ba3783_16 (1) The stories in these photos beg us to learn as much about Native American culture as we can. We can't change the past, but the least we can do is show respect and appreciation for surviving Natives, and attempt to recognize and understand their culture as much as we can.