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First Nations faces in Rossland

An amazing cabinet card sold on eBay last week for $181.50 US ($240 Cdn), showing two First Nations people in a studio portrait by Rossland photographer Thomas Henry Gowman.

I don’t know for sure if these were Sinixt people, but their name for Rossland was kEluwi’sst or kmarkn, the former a generic name for “up in the hills” and the latter a term for “smooth top,” referring to Red Mountain. They knew it as a good area for huckleberries.

While we do don’t know the names of the pair depicted (maybe it was a wedding photo?), we can date the photograph to between 1901 and 1905, which is when Gowman was in business in Rossland, operating a studio at 111½ East Columbia Ave.

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