Girls vocational class at the Indian Training School


Girls vocational class at the Indian Training School


A posed photograph of Native American girls in the Forest Grove Indian Training School performing housekeeping skills. The twenty girls of various ages are in western dress and are showing the skills which the vocational classes offered to girls at the school: washing, ironing, making bread, sewing by hand and with sewing machines, and housekeeping. The photograph was posed outdoors with one of the school dormitories in the background. They did this in order to make use of natural light; the actual classrooms were indoors. The caption notes that this was number 43 in a series of photographs by I.G. Davidson, a photography studio based in Portland. The series shows how the school taught the children to behave according to the norms of white society, including the performance of vocational skills such as this one. This photograph was reproduced alongside several other images of the school as an etching in a popular magazine, Harper's Weekly, in 1882.





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Davidson, Photo. No. 43. Indian Training School, Forest Grove, Oregon. Housekeeping. Capt. M. C. Wilkinson, U.S.A., in Charge.