Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Website Search Box

Department of Anthropology

picture 1


Included are portraits of an Indian in plains (Dakota?) dress.

DATE: No date

QUANTITY: 2 prints

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 71


The prints show Fox dwellings and related structures.

DATE: Early 1900s

QUANTITY: 5 prints

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 73-32


Joseph C. Farber was a successful New York businessman before becoming a professional photographer. He has studied with Edward Steichen and published several books. The prints resulted from a five-year project, including travel to many American Indian communities. Out of the project came Farber's Native America: 500 Years After, New York, 1975. Some prints have been exhibited, including a 1976 show at the National Museum of Natural History.

The photographs present modern views of American Indian life with an emphasis on the everyday aspects of nontraditional life. Many elements of tradition are included.

Farber's travels included Alaska (Barrow, Dead Horse, Glacier Bay, Haines, Hoona, Hydaberg, Ketchikan, Mount McKinley, Point Barrow, Prudhoe Bay, Saxman, and Sitka); Alberta (Blackfeet Reservation); Arizona (Canyon de Chelly, Cocopa Reservation, Flagstaff, Kayenta, Monument Valley, Pima Reservation, Quechan Reservation, Mojave Reservation, and Yuma); California (Alcatraz, Oakland, and San Francisco); Florida (Big Cypress Reservation; Miccosukee Reservation); Minnesota (Minneapolis and Nett Lake);Montana (Northern Cheyenne Reservation); New Mexico (Acoma, Gallup, Navajo Forest, Picuris, Puye, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santa Fe, Taos, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and Tesuque); New York (New York City and Onandaga Reservation); (North Carolina (Cherokee Reservation);Oklahoma (Anadarko, Apache, Lawton, Stilwell, and Tahlequah); South Dakota (Rosebud and Wounded Knee); and Washington (Lummi Reservation, Nisqually River, Puyallup River, and Quinalt Reservation).

Tribes represented are Apache, Blackfoot, Chehalis, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cocopa, Dakota, Eskimo, Haida, Kutenai, Lummi, Mohave, Mohawk, Navaho, Northern Athabascan, Onandaga, Pima, Pueblo, Quinalt, Seminole, and Tlingit.

Subject coverage is broad and varies from group to group. Included are such things as art, broadcasting, camping, carnivals, carving, children, churches, construction work, crab cleaning, dances, dwellings, farming, fishing, funeral, games, health care, legal processes, manufacturing, music, office work, parades, pottery making, ranching, rodeos, sewing, schooling, teenagers, totem poles, vending, and weaving.

There are photographs of R.C. Gorman (and a letter from Gorman to Farber) and Fritz Shoulder (some in color).

DATES: 1970-1974

QUANTITY: ca. 6000 black-and-white negatives; ca. 20 color transparencies; ca. 500 proof sheets (most with twelve images), ca. 1100 enlarged prints (many duplicate images), some mounted for exhibition.

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 78-1


The collection consists of prints of photographs by E. Potts and show a dance.

DATE: 1924

QUANTITY: 4 prints.

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 81-39


Cornelia Ferry taught at the Indian School in Cataract Canyon, Arizona. Her album contains black-and-white gelatin prints of photographs she took. Included are land formations, canyon walls, personnel at the school, and school children. There are also photographs of Havasupai subjects, including camps, food preparation, and baskets.

DATES: 1897-1899

QUANTITY: 100 prints

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 95-14


The Smithsonian's annual folklife festival is an exhibit of material and nonmaterial culture. The 1971 festival included Indians from the Northwest Coast. Among the depictions are participants in the Folklife Institute hearings; Benny Charlie, a Quinault Indian canoe carver; June Poitras, a Klamath Indian making a beaded saddle; and a Makah carver. There are also images of several demonstration stands and the participants' living accommodations.

A complete set of photographs relating to the festival is in the archives of the Smithsonian Office of Folklife Program.

DATE: 1971

QUANTITY: 14 prints

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 49


The collection includes photographic prints, maps, and drawings. Some items are original illustrations for Fewkes' "Report on Fieldwork on Mesa Verde National Monument," Explorations and Field-work of the Smithsonian Institution in 1920, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, volume 72, number 6 (1921). There are original photographs by George L. Beam taken for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad that show Square Tower House, Fire Temple, Cedar Tree Tower, Oak Tree House, and ladders to Fewkes Canyon; original field drawings of plans of Cedar Tree Tower and Fire Temple House; an elevation of the west wall of the Fire Temple House; the interior of New Fire House Plaza; and other material. Other photographs are of Square Tower House and were apparently for an unidentified publication. There is also a photograph of a bowl from Far View House and miscellaneous unidentified drawings, mostly of artifacts.

See also Kenneth E. Stabler Collection of Jesse Walter Fewkes Photographs.

DATES: No date

QUANTITY: ca. 48 items



CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 30


The photographs were made in the southern United States, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean islands. For other material of Fewkes, see Kenneth E. Stabler Collection of Jesse Walter Fewkes Photographs, Photo Lot 30 (above), subject and geographic file, Fewkes' photographic collection that is part of the BAE-USNM Photographs of American Indians and Other Subjects, and his papers in the series of numbered manuscripts.

DATES: No date

QUANTITY: ca. 500 negatives

ARRANGEMENT: Undetermined

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 86

FISCHER, JOHN LYLE (1923-1985), AND ANN M. FISCHER (1919-1971), Papers

John L. Fischer was trained at Harvard University (Ph.D., 1955). He also studied at the New School for Social Research. While working on his dissertation in 1949-1953, Fischer was a district anthropologist for the government of the Trust Territory of the Caroline Islands and, later, a district administrator. In 1955-1958, he taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. In 1962, he joined the faculty of sociology and anthropology at Tulane University. He remained at Tulane until his death.

Most of Fischer's field work was on the Caroline Islands. In addition to his work on Truk in 1949-1950 and Ponape in 1950-1953, he revisited Ponape in 1968, 1970, and 1971. In 1954-1955, Fischer studied child rearing in a New England town as part of Beatrice Whiting's Six Cultures Project; and, in 1961-1962, he studied child rearing in Japan.

Fischer described himself as interested in social anthropology, folklore, and linguistics.

Ann K. Meredith attended the University of Kansas (B.A. in sociology, 1941) and Radcliffe College (Ph.D. in anthropology, 1957). In 1949, while studying child rearing on Truk, she married John Fischer. In many respects, her career and his ran parallel to one another. She was also on the faculty of Tulane, and they shared work in the Carolines, New England, and Japan. Her focus was also on social anthropology. She had special interests in medicine and child rearing.

The Fischer papers are yet to be fully processed. They include correspondence, field notes, reading notes, questionnaires, interviews, test material (especially Rorschach and Thematic Apperception), reports of dreams, statistical data, computer cards and printouts, linguistics materials (lexicon, notes, and texts), musical transcriptions, printed and process material, microfilm, tape recordings, and photographs. Most material concerns the work on the Caroline Islands and Japan. There is also material of the New England study and on a study of Boston nurses by Ann Fischer.

DATES: ca. 1949-1984

QUANTITY: ca. 9.8 linear meters (ca. 32 linear feet)




There are two sets of photographs. One is by Waldo R. Wedel, of the Smithsonian, who was surveying sites along the Potomac River. The other images are from Richard G. Slattery, a knowledgeable amateur and, later, member and officer with the Maryland Archeological Society. During the 1930s-1960s, while Slattery was in the Washington, D.C. area, he conducted surveys and worked along both banks of the Potomac.

DATE: ca. 1938-1940

QUANTITY: 41 prints and negatives



CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 83-13


Alice C. Fletcher was an anthropologist and reformer. Drawn to the American Indian by humanitarian impulses--earlier she had administered Women's Indian Association loans to Indians for land and houses--Fletcher first studied Indian culture through readings and museum studies. Although her first field ventures were in archeology--investigations of shell heaps in Florida and Massachusetts--she became a pioneer of long-term ethnological field investigations. In 1881, having met the Omaha Susette La Flesche in the East and formed an association with Frederic W. Putnam, of the Harvard University Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, she set out for the West to study Plains Indians. She succeeded in establishing working relations with the Omaha, Winnebago, and Dakota of the Rosebud Reservation.

Fletcher's zeal as a reformer continued and much of her philanthropic efforts and ethnological work were interlaced. She became involved, for example, in the recruitment of Indian students for schools in the East, notably the United States Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She also became actively advocate of the division of Indian lands into individual allotments. The Omaha Allotment Act of 1882--the model for the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887--was adopted through her efforts, motivated by philanthropic impulses. In 1883-1893, she was a special agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to oversee allotment of land among the Omahas. She carried out similar work among the Winnebago in 1887-1889 and the Nez Perce in 1889-1893.

During sojourns with these tribes, Fletcher did ethnographic work. Her interests were broad. As a collector for Harvard's Peabody Museum, she had a considerable interest in material culture, and this is reflected strongly in her papers. She is particularly significant for her study of ceremonial life and Indian music. Working with John Comfort Fillmore, she was a pioneer in the latter field.

Fletcher served the Bureau of Indian Affairs in matters other than land allotments. In 1885, for the use of Congress, she prepared a report on the educational needs of the Indians. In 1886, she journeyed to Alaska to investigate similar needs of Alaskan natives. In 1884, she prepared the Bureau of Indian Affairs exhibit for the New Orleans Exposition and, in 1893, for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Although Fletcher's institutional ties were chiefly with the Peabody Museum at Harvard (she was the Mary Copley Thaw fellow of that institution from 1893 until her death), she was also a collaborator with the Smithsonian's Bureau of American Ethnology. Some of her field work was sponsored by the BAE and some of her major publications appeared in its series. A resident of Washington, D.C., she was drawn into extensive work as both author and advisor for the Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30, 1909-1910).

Fletcher was a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, a founder of the School of American Archaeology, and an advocate of federal protection for American antiquities. She was also a vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1896, president of the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1903, and president of the American Folklore Society in 1905.

Francis La Flesche was from a prominent and progressive Omaha Indian family. His father, Joseph, was the last chief of the tribe and two sisters achieved degrees of prominence--Susette as an educator and lecturer and Susan as a physician. Both were champions of Indian rights.

Francis La Flesche was schooled at a Presbyterian mission. In 1879, he toured the East with a Ponca chief. Employment with the Bureau of Indian Affairs followed. Resident in Washington, he took a degree in law at National University. From 1910 to 1929, he was an ethnologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. In 1926, the University of Nebraska awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. In 1922-1923, he served as president of the Anthropological Society of Washington.

La Flesche's preparation for a career in anthropology came largely through Alice C. Fletcher. In 1881, he became her her assistant and Omaha informant, and they developed an intensely close, personal relationship that would last until her death. Professionally, he became Fletcher's collaborator rather than her assistant. In his service with the Bureau of American Ethnology, his work became independent and focused on the ceremonies and related music of the Osage.

The Fletcher-La Flesche collection includes correspondence, field notes, musical transcriptions, photographs, cartographic material, printed material, and miscellaneous other types of documents. Correspondents include Charles F. Aldrich, H.B. Alexander, James T. Allen, George L. Andrews, S.C. Armstrong, Robert H. Ashley, John D.C. Atkins, Franz Boas, Daniel G. Brinton, George LeRoy Brown, Natalie Curtis Burlin, Lucien Carr, John T. Copley, William H. Dall, James O. Dorsey, John Brown Dunbar, F.F. Ellinwood, Caryl E. Farley, Arthur Farwell, R.S. Fellowes, John C. Fillmore, L.H. Fillmore, Thomas H. Fillmore, Barbara Freire-Marreco, E. Jane Gay, Elmer C. Griffith, William N. Guthrie, Horatio Hale, C.C. Hall, C.L. Hall, H. Heth, Edgar L. Hewett, J.N.B. Hewitt, Frederick W. Hodge, William Henry Holmes, Walter Hough, Sheldon Jackson, Catherine M. Johnston, William Kincaid, Joseph La Flesche and other members of the La Flesche family, Charles F. Lummis, Otis T. Mason, Washington Matthews, Kate C. McBeth, Sue L. McBeth, S. M.McCowan, WJ McGee, Joseph D. McGuire, Frances K. Mead, C. Hart Merriam, Fannie and Jessie Merrick, Homer Moore, Caroline S. Morgan, John T. Morgan, James R. Murie, John L. Myers, Zelia Nuttall, W.H. Petter, F.W. Pettigrew, Susan La Flesche Picotte, Richard H. Pratt, Hiram Price, Frederic W. Putnam, Daniel Quinn, Paul Radin, Alice M. Robertson, Emily F. Rogers, Thomas Day Seymour, Frederick Starr, Julia St. Cyr, James Stuart, Emily Talbot, W.M. Teller, Alfred M. Tozzer, G.W. Wilkinson, and Hattie M. Wilkinson.

DATES: ca. 1873-1930 (some collected material of an earlier date)

QUANTITY: ca. 6.6 linear meters (ca. 23 linear feet)

ARRANGEMENT: Refer to Finding Aid.

FINDING AID: Joy Elizabeth Rohde, Register to the Papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, National Anthropological Archives, April 2000.

CALL NUMBER: Manuscript 4558


The photograph is a copy negative of one of Camillus S. Fly's photographs made during negotiations for the Apache's surrender. Original prints are included in BAE-USNM Photographs of American Indians and Other Subjects.

DATE: 1886

QUANTITY: 1 negative

CALL NUMBER: Photo Lot 81-15

Follow the NAAs & HSFAs on social media:

facebook youtubeitunesu


[ TOP ]