This article examines the participation and representation of Indians at San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), arguing that the PPIE represents a change in cultural depictions of Indians from the vanishing Indian of the turn of the century to the qualified appreciation of Indian culture that would emerge in the 1920s and 1930s. The popularity of James Earle Fraser’s statue The End of the Trail and other attractions mourning the loss of Indian culture may be understood as a shift toward an understanding of Indians as doomed noble “first Americans,” not savage vanishing Indians. Other exhibits on the grounds and media coverage reveal examples of living Indians and interest in Indian culture, undermining the idea of a vanishing race at its very core.

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