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 • Anadarko
 • Caddo County
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Horace Monroe Poolaw
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Birth: Mar. 13, 1906
Mountain View
Kiowa County
Oklahoma, USA
Death: Jan. 31, 1984
Caddo County
Oklahoma, USA

Photographer. Widely known for his photographic documentation of the cultural annihilation of his Kiowa community as they assimilated into white society. He photographed the intimate day to day life in his community and captured its transition from native to white culture. He wanted his people to be remembered as they once were. His work is increasingly being recognized for its profound historic documentary value. A posthumous exhibit of his work, "War Bonnets, Tin Lizzies and Patent Leather Pumps: Kiowa Culture in Transition 1925-1955," toured the country in the early 1990s. In 1992, his work was featured in an exhibition at the National Museum of History in Washington, DC. Another traveling exhibition that included his work "Strong Hearts: Native American Visions and Voices," originated at the Smithsonian in 1996. His work subsequently was featured in an exhibit, "Spirit Capture; Native Americans and the Photographic Image," at the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian. A New York Times review of Spirit Capture said his work was an outstanding corrective view of Hollywood's feathers and tomahawk Indian. Pulitzer prize winning author N. Scott Momaday described Poolaw's work saying "His vision of his world, perceived through the lens of a camera, was touched with genius."

He was one of at least eleven children of Tsomah and Kiowa George Poolaw. His father had at least two wives so Horace had both full and half siblings. His full siblings, those whose mother was Tsomah, included: David T.; Phyllis Annie; Gladys Samuel; Robert William, a twin; Bruce John; Pierce Justin; and Trecil.

His half siblings, those whose mother was Keahtinekeah, included: Dorothy (Oegotahkeah); Moses Edward; Ralph E.; and Cora. Another half sibling was Mammedaty, whose mother was Ku-da-am-ke.

In 1910, he was living on the reservation with his parents, maternal grandparents, and siblings in Mountain View, Oklahoma (Kiowa County). The household included: George Poolaw, age 46, born in Oklahoma of Oklahoma parents, married twice, a farmer; Tsomah, age 38, married twice, six living children of ten, born in Oklahoma of Mexican parents; David, age 15, born in Oklahoma; Annie, age 13; Bruce, age 5; Robert, age 5; Horace, age 4; Shah-k, age 2; Jerry, age 62, father-in-law, married 10 times, 36 years, speaks Kiowa, born in Mexico of Mexican parents; and Kon-No-Aon, age 66, mother in law, married twice, born in Mexico of Mexican parents.

In 1920, he was still living at home with his parents and siblings. His grandparents Jerry Paith-T-Te, age 71 and Kau-Oirty, age 72 were still in the household. In 1923, he started working as an apprentice in a photography studio and two years later, he married Quoinquodle. A year later, they had a daughter, who died. One year after that, their son Gerald Wayne, was born.

In 1930, he and his wife and son were living in Mountain View, Oklahoma where he was working as a photographer in a photo studio. In 1937, they appeared in Indian Schedules, reporting that he was 3/4 Indian, Rhoda was full blood Indian, and their son Gerald Wayne was 7/8.

He enlisted in the Army on May 20, 1943 in Caddo County, Oklahoma. His enlistment showed that he had one year of high school and was 73 inches tall. 
Family links: 
  Tsomah Poolaw (1870 - 1958)
  Winnie Chisholm Poolaw (1908 - 1981)
  Baby Poolaw (1925 - 1925)*
  David T Poolaw (1896 - 1976)*
  Samuel Poolaw (1900 - 1901)*
  Infant son Poolaw (1901 - 1904)*
  Bruce John Poolaw (1903 - 1984)*
  Robert W Poolaw (1903 - 1921)*
  Horace Monroe Poolaw (1906 - 1984)
  Pierce Justin Poolaw (1909 - 1987)*
  Trecil Poolaw Unap (1913 - 1940)*
*Calculated relationship
Memory Lane Cemetery
Caddo County
Oklahoma, USA
Maintained by: Thousandwinds
Originally Created by: Cokeman2
Record added: May 08, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52123899
Horace Monroe Poolaw
Added by: Lillian
Horace Monroe Poolaw
Added by: Lillian
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An outstanding biography and memorial for one of our outstanding sons of native Oklahoma. We continue to honor his many accomplishments.
- TimelessSpirits
 Added: Mar. 15, 2013

- Thousandwinds
 Added: Mar. 12, 2013
You are famous.
- Claudia L Naugle
 Added: Apr. 2, 2011
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