Nancy Columbia was an 8 year-old Inuit from one of the Labrador families comprising the "Esquimaux Village" concession on the Pan-American Exposition Midway. She was born at the Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair) in 1893 and traveled with her family from fair to fair during the next decade, apparently returning to Labrador intermittently. In 1900, this Esquimaux Village was set up at the Paris Exposition and from there traveled directly to Buffalo.
Although a guidebook published by the "Esquimaux Village" concessionaire Ralph Taber suggests that the Inuit "sometimes object to being photographed," it's plain that Nancy's years of travel on the fair circuit had permitted her gregarious nature to shine. The photo on the left is from an article in "Everybody's Magazine" which describes technological progress. Nancy is posing with a telephone. And, right, in a plaster version of an igloo, Nancy is smiling coyly. Of the numerous photos from the "Esquimaux Village," hers are the only ones smiling.
The Inuit families returned to their homes in Labrador in October, according to local papers Nancy Columbia eventually settled permanently in the United States and even made a movie.
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