An American Sadhu with Monkey

On first examination, this was thought this to be a portrait of an unusual carnival wild man with white face makeup, but now I believe him to be some kind of imitation (or real) American Sadhu or Fakir. In Hinduism, a sādhu is a religious ascetic or holy person. The American identification is due to the portrait photographer being L.M. MELANDER & BROS, Chicago and a hard to read sign to his left says "A [MER]RY X-MAS AND [HA]PPY NEW YEAR."

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