Front and profile studio portraits of Indigenous peoples of Mexico, representing Aztec, Chinantec, Chocho, Chol, Chontal, Cuicatec, Huastec, Huave, Maya, Mazatec, Mixe, Mixtec, Otomi, Tarascan, Tepehua, Tlaxcalan, Totonac, Trique, Tzental, Tzotzil, Zapotec, Zapotec Tehuartepec, and Zoque tribes. The photographs were made by William L. Koehne of Chicago for publication in Frederick Starr's book, Physical Characters of Indians of Southern Mexico.
Frederick Starr (1858-1933) was an anthropologist and academic who worked as curator at the American Museum of Natural History and professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. During his professiorship, Starr hired professional photographer and studio owner William L. Koehne to make the studio portraits for his 1902 book, Physical Characters of Indians of Southern Mexico. Additionally, Starr made several field studies in Mexico and commissioned field photographs and plaster busts.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 123
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs collected by Cyrus Thomas, Robert T. Hill, Edward W. Nelson, and Edgar L. Hewitt have been relocated to Photo Lot 169, Photo Lot 170, Photo Lot 171, and Photo Lot 172, respectively.
The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian Archives holds the Frederick Starr negatives and lanterns slides, 1894-1910.
Correspondence from Starr held in the National Anthropological Archives is in MS 4558, MS 4821, and the Bureau of American Ethnology records.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 123, Frederick Starr collection of William L. Koehne photographs of Indigenous peoples of Mexico, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The collection includes materials from cultures in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guiana: Acoma Pueblo, Apache, Arapaho, Arikara, Assiniboine, Caddo, Cahuilla, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chibcha, Chinantec, Chippewa (Ojibwa), Choco, Chol, Chontal, Cochiti Pueblo, Crow, Cuicatec, Eskimo, Flathead, Haida, Hopi, Huastec, Huave, Iowa, Iroquois, Isleta, Karaja, Kwakiutl, Laguna Pueblo, Macusi, Mandan, Maya, Mazahua, Mazatec, Mehinaku, Menomini, Mixe, Mixtec, Navajo, Nez Perce, Osage, Otomi, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pima, Ponca, Potawatomi, Salish, San Blas, San Felipe Pueblo, Sauk & Fox, Shuar, Sioux, Taos Pueblo, Tarasco, Teotihuacan, Tepehua, Tlaxcala, Tlingit, Tonkawa, Totonac, Triqui, Tzental, Tzotzil, Ute, Wampanoag, Zapotec, Zoque, Zuni.
Collection arranged by item number.
Frederick Starr was born in Auburn, New York, on September 2, 1858. He received a Ph.D. in biology in 1884 at Coe College, where he was later appointed professor of biology. Starr did postgraduate work in anthropology at Yale. In 1889 he was appointed head of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History, and in 1892 he was chosen by William Harper to organize the Anthropology Department at the new University of Chicago. Starr remained at the University until his retirement in 1923. Besides his field studies with various Indian tribes in the United States, Starr traveled to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Guiana, Japan, the Philippines, and Africa. He died in Tokyo, Japan, on August 14, 1933. Starr was the author of several books and scholarly articles.
Starr hired professional photographers Charles B. Lang and Louis Grabic to accompany him on his field trips. One lantern slide of Moses Ladd (Menomini) was taken by William H. Jackson.
Dr. Frederick Starr, Purchased, circa 1929
Access restricted. Researchers should contact the staff of the NMAI Archives for an appointment to access the collection.