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An Indian Child Apprentice Poses for a Photographer

This photograph of a Native American child apprentice was taken near Red Bluff, Tehama County, California. The boy, about ten years old, would be “bound” to a master until he was 25, as California law apprenticed boys under 14 until their 25th birthdays and women under 14 until either their 21st or 25th birthdays. (Boys over 14 were apprenticed until they turned 30 years old.) White masters were only required to clothe and provide “necessities” such as food and shelter. The apprenticeship laws encouraged many unscrupulous white Californians to kidnap Indian children and sell them to those who wanted to “hire” Indian apprentices.

Source | Unknown, “Digger Boy,” circa 1850—1870; in James J. Rawls, Indians of California: The Changing Image, (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984).
Creator | Unknown
Item Type | Photograph
Cite This document | Unknown, “An Indian Child Apprentice Poses for a Photographer,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed February 25, 2024,

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