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Our Totem, Improved Order of Red Men Chart
1888
Frank W. Parkhurst; G. H. Buek & Co.; T. C. Savory
USA: Massachusetts, Boston
Lithograph on paper
overall: 25 7/8 x 20 1/8 in.; 65.7225 x 51.1175 cm
Gift of Kenneth Leeco
89.71

Our Totem, Improved Order of Red Men Chart; lithograph's central image shows a group of Indians around a fire; surrounding the center are eight vignettes of Indian life including: Indians near a ship, Indians fighting at burning village, Indian chief meeting non-Indian, Indian with hostage tied to tree meets four other indians, Indian meeting man under tent, Indian pair hunting deer, European explorers coming to America, two Indians sitting with mountains in background and Indian hovering in heavens; eagle at top holds white ribbon that reads, "FREEDOM FRIENDSHIP & CHARITY" and a shield divided into three sections (blue, green and yellow) with a red section across the middle with white letters reading, "T. O. T. E." American flag on left, multi-colored flag on right; reads on bottom "OUR TOTEM / COPYRIGHT, 1888. / BY FRANK W. PARKHURST, BOSTON, MASS / T. C. SAVORY, DEL. / G. H. BUEK & CO. LITH. N.Y."; on either side at bottom is image of shield with headdress, tomahawk, spear, and pipe.


This chart presents the values of the Improved Order of Red Men. Founded in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1834, and modeled on the Odd Fellows and Freemasonry, the group was inspired by idealized notions of Native American life. Red Men met in “tribes” at “wigwams” and practiced rituals based on romanticized views of American Indian legends. Ironically, the group was initially open only to white men, as members banded together in the wake of rising immigration to the United States from other countries.