In the early 1900s, Seattle-based photographer Edward S. Curtis embarked on a project of epic scale, to travel the western U.S. and document the lives of Native Americans. A century later, some still celebrate the documentary value of his work, while critics object to its perpetuation of the "noble savage" myth.

This is a portrait Curtis took of a Native American man named Big Head, circa 1905. (Credit: Library of Congress/Edward S. Curtis)