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Catalog Data

Aspaas, Hans  Search this
Aspaas, Ralph  Search this
Aspaas, Allie Ward  Search this
Aspaas, Carl Henry  Search this
Aspaas, Ellanette  Search this
Aspaas, Max Herndon  Search this
Aspaas, Ralph  Search this
Aspaas, Ralph Ward  Search this
Wirt, Emmet  Search this
Wirt, Emmet  Search this
26 Photographic prints
181 Negatives (photographic)
Jicarilla Apache  Search this
Tohono O'odham (Papago)  Search this
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Negatives (photographic)
Marriage certificates
Tohono O'odham Reservation (Ariz.)
Jicarilla Indian Reservation (N.M.)
Dulce (N.M.)
New Mexico
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 207 photographs documenting U.S. Allotting Agent Ralph Aspaas (1876-1939), his work, his family, and his travels around the United States southwest circa 1900-1915. The bulk of the materials in this collection depict scenes from the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in New Mexico and the Tohono O'odham (Papago) in Arizona. The photographs may have been shot by Aspaas or his brother Hans Aspaas (1873-1968).
This collection is organized into three series: Jicarilla Apache Reservation, Tohono O'odham (Papago) Reservation, and Colorado, Utah, and unidentified locations.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Aspaas served as an Allotting Agent for the United States Indian Service (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs). He was first assigned to the Jicarilla Apache reservation from circa 1900 to 1910 and then to the Tohono O'odham reservation from circa 1912 to 1915. As an Agent, he allotted land within these reservations to individual tribal members and for tribal community use. Born in 1876, Aspaas married schoolteacher Allie Maud Ward (1881-1959) on July 15, 1905. Together they had six children- Ralph Ward Aspaas (1906-1972), Carl Henry Aspaas (1908-1975), Max Herndon Aspaas (1911-1971), Ellanette Aspaas (b. 1913), Helen Marie Aspaas (1920-2012), and Ruth Louise Aspaas (1922- 1966). By 1920 Ralph was working as a farmer and rancher in Breen, La Plata County, Colorado. He died on September 30, 1939 in Colorado.
Separated Materials:
The nitrate negatives are stored at the National Anthropological Archives.
Gift of Helen R. Aspaas, 2006.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to
Indians of North America -- Southwest -- Photographs  Search this
Indians of North America -- Arizona -- Photographs  Search this
Indians of North America -- New Mexico -- Photographs  Search this
Indians of North America -- Social life and customs  Search this
Indian land transfers -- New Mexico  Search this
Indian land transfers -- Arizona  Search this
Correspondence -- 1910-1920
Marriage certificates
Photographic prints
Negatives (photographic)
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Ralph Aspaas collection, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ralph Aspaas collection
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian