Photographs made as part of Joseph C. Farber's project to document modern NAtive American everyday life. Represented tribes include the Acoma, Apache, Blackfoot, Chehalis, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cocopa, Dakota, Eskimo, Haida, Kiowa, Kutenai, Lummi, Mohave, Mohawk, Navaho, Northern Athabascan, Onandaga, Pima, Pueblo, Quinalt, Seminole, Taos, Tlingit, and Zuni. Subject coverage is broad and varies from tribe to tribe. Included are portraits, as well as totem poles, carving, weaving, pottery, painitng, landscapes, boats and canoes, ceremonial regalia, camps, classes and vocational training, homes and traditional dwellings, construction projects, rodeos and powwows, dances, industries (including lumber), herding and ranching, agriculture, stores and storefronts, cliff dwellings, parades, crab cleaning, fishing, games, health care, legal processes, music, office work, sewing, vending, and a funeral. There are also photographs of R. C. Gorman (and a letter from Gorman to Farber) and Fritz Shoulder (some in color).
Farber's travels included Alaska (Point Barrow, Dead Horse, Glacier Bay, Haines, Hoona, Hydaberg, Ketchikan, Mount McKinley, 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).
Joseph C. Farber (1903-1994) was a successful New York businessman and professional photographer. He studied with Edward Steichen at the New York Camera Club in the 1920s. The prints in this collection resulted from a five-year project that involved travelling to Native communities throughout the United States to document modern Native American life. The project resulted in a book, Native Americans: 500 Years After (1975), as well as exhibits, including one in the National Museum of Natural History in 1976-1977.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 78-1, NAA ACC 95-3
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Farber's photographs, previously located in Photo Lot 95-3 have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 78-1. These photographs were also made by Joseph C. Farber and form part of this collection.
The National Museum of American History Archives Center holds the Joseph Farber Papers and Photographs, circa 1962-1990.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photographs published in Farber's books still under copyright. Reproduction permission from artist's estate.
Sun dance (1:32) -- Love song (0:57) -- Crazy Dog song (1:41) -- Buffalo dance song (1:03) -- Man's love song (0:54) -- Hand game song (1:42) -- Prisoner's song (2:20) -- World War II song (1:36) -- Warrior death song for Sitting Bull (2:00) -- Canvas dance song (1:40) -- Funeral song (1:37) -- Suguaro song (1:58) -- Peyote song : first song cycle (1:26) -- Moonlight song (2:09) -- Eagle dance (2:59) -- Butterfly dance (1:41) -- Lullaby (0:58) -- Rain dance (1:47) -- Night chant (1:43) -- Song of happiness (1:09) -- Silversmith's song (1:09) -- Corn grinding song (0:59) -- Children's songs (1:47) -- Church song (1:03) -- Devil dance, crown dance (2:57). Wolf song (2:05) -- Potlatch song (1:38) -- Hamatsa song (1:12) -- War song for marriage (1:50) -- Rabbit dance song (2:03) -- Cree dance song (2:24) -- Fiddle dance song (1:00) -- Bear hunting song (1:44) -- Inviting-in dance song (0:47) -- His first hunt (2:06) -- Hunting for musk ox (3:33) -- Corn dance (2:08) -- Stomp dance (1:57) -- Song of welcome (1:19) -- Buffalo feast song (1:06) -- Morning song (1:12) -- Song of the unfaithful woman (0:59) -- Hoot owl song (1:09) -- Oh Mary (1:01) -- Catholic hymn (0:42) -- Calusa corn dance song (1:32) -- Song of removal (1:41) -- Fortynine dance (2:00) -- Unidentified track (1:03) -- As long as the grass shall grow (6:03).
101 Sun Dance / Drum,Whistle.
102 Love Song.
103 Crazy Dog Song / Jack Low Horn, Jim Low Horn, Emil, Mrs. Wings. Drum,Rattle (Musical instrument).
106 Hand Game Song / William Peaychew. Sticks (Musical instrument).
104 Buffalo Dance Song / Jack V. Anquoe, Kenneth Anquoe, Nick Webster. Drum.
105 Man's Love Song / Mark Evarts.
107 Prisoner's Song / William Burn Stick. Drum.
108 World War II Song / George Nicotine. Drum. English language.
109 Warrior Death Song for Sitting Bull / Bass drum,Bells.
207 Song of Happiness / Fort Wingate (N.M.) Indian School. Drum,Harmonica. Navajo language.
208 Silversmith's Song / Ambrose Roanhorse. Anvils. Navajo language.
209 Corn Grinding Song / Basket drum. Navajo language.
110 Canvas Dance Song / Baptiste Pichette, Eneas Conko. Drum.
111 Funeral Song.
112 Suguaro Song.
113 Peyote Song: First Song Cycle / Burton John, Roy James. Drum,Rattle (Musical instrument).
201 Moonlight Song.
202 Eagle Dance / Drum.
203 Butterfly Dance / Drum.
205 Rain Dance.
206 Night Chant / Rattle (Musical instrument). Navajo language.
210 Children's Song: Wolf Song / Irene Chalepah Poolaw. Kiowa Apache.
303 Hamatsa Song, Cedar Bark Dance / Mungo Martin.
304 War Song for Marriage / Billy Assu.
305 Rabbit Dance Song.
306 Cree Dance Song.
307 Fiddle Dance Song / Fiddle.
308 Bear Hunting Song / Sebastian McKenzie.
309 Inviting in Dance Song / Otis Ahkivigak.
310 His First Hunt / Kemukserar, Pangatkar.
311 Hunting for Musk Ox / Kemukserar, Pangatkar. Drum.
401 Corn Dance / Thomas Lewis.
402 Stomp Dance / Huron Miller.
403 Song of Welcome / Albert Yellow Thunder, Blow Snake, Winslow White Eagle.
404 Buffalo Feast Song / Albert Yellow Thunder, Blow Snake, Winslow White Eagle.
405 Morning Song / Albert Yellow Thunder, Blow Snake, Winslow White Eagle. Rattle (Musical instrument).
406 Song of the Unfaithful Woman / Albert Yellow Thunder, Blow Snake, Winslow White Eagle. Flute.
407 Hoot Owl Song / David, Oshawenimiki Kenosha.
408 Oh Mary / Fred Lacasse.
409 Catholic Hymn / Thomas Shalifoe.
410 Calusa Corn Dance Song / Billy, Gatcayehola Stewart.
411 Song of Removal / Billie Stewart, Susie Tiger.
412 Fortynine Dance / Fred Lacasse. English language.
413 The Seneca: As Long As the Grass Shall Grow / Peter La Farge.
Publication, Distribution, Etc. (Imprint):
New York Folkways 1973
Date/Time and Place of an Event Note:
Recorded in: Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Onondaga Indian Reservation (N.Y.), Chesterfield (Alaska), Barrow, Point (Alaska), Alaska, Schefferville (Québec), Québec (Province), Montana, Fort Wingate (N.M.), New Mexico, Fort Qu'appelle (Sask.), Canada, Saskatchewan, New York (N.Y.), United States, New York.
Songs and dance music from many tribes including Sioux, Cree, Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, Apache, Kwakiutl-Nootka, Slavey, Iroquoian, Winnebago, Ojibwa, Seminole, and others. Compiled and edited by Michael I. Asch. Originally compiled principally from material previously released on several Folkways and Asch recordings. Program notes in English by Michael I. Asch and others, and Native American vocal texts with English translations and English vocal texts (10 p.)
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only.
Edited film shot by William Van Valin as leader of the John Wanamaker Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska for the University of Pennsylvania Museum. The film, that later toured in a film-lecture series by Van Valin, is known under the main title TIP TOP OF THE EARTH: Alaskan Eskimo Educational Series. Series includes the titles: SCENES AT NOME, ALASKA; ESKIMO SPORTS; SCENES AT POINT BARROW, ALASKA; ESKIMO REINDEER INDUSTRY; ESKIMO SEAL HUNTING; ESKIMO WHALING [Parts I and II]; and MIDNIGHT SUN SCENES. Sequences include: the steamship Victoria landing passengers at Nome, Alaska; hydraulic mining along the Bering Sea beach near Nome; a umiak with Eskimos aboard being towed; old Eskimo man cleaning salmon and preparing his pipe; salmon drying on elevated racks; summer camp activities among the Eskimos; natives dancing, drumming, racing umiaks, and participating in foot races as part of Fourth of July festivities in Nome; Eskimo barber demonstrating technique of hair cutting with stone knife; scenes of winter life including igloos covered with blocks of snow; Eskimos with dog teams and sleds; Eskimo games and forms of recreation including a form of whaling sport known as nela-ka-tuk, tossing a person on a stretched walrus hide. Also depicted are various activities relating to the Eskimo food quest: activities associated with whaling which include sledding umiaks overland through snow, hauling a whale through hole cut in polar ice, and butchering whales; activities relating to Eskimo reindeer herding, culling out males and butchering animals; and scenes relating to seal hunting, butchering seals, and the use of their hides. Included are shots of archaeological excavations conducted at early Arctic habitations showing exposed skeletal and cranial remains. (Also as part of this collection is miscellaneous footage of a rabbit drive, a mule team pulling wagons and unidentified locations). Collection also contains a book.
Legacy Keywords: Language and culture ; Ships steamships Nome Alaska ; Mining hydralic Nome Alaska ; Dogs as transportation Alaska ; Sleds as transportation Alaska ; Fishing salmon Alaska ; Boats use in hunting Alaska ; Hunting guns Alaska ; Food quest hunting fishing whaling Alaska ; Food preparation butchering drying Alaska ; Food preservation techniques of Alaska ; Cooking utensils ; Ecology seasonal movements Alaska ; Ecology seasonal movements ; Dancing drums Alaska ; Drumming dancing ceremony ; Food communal distribution Alaska ; Animal husbandry reindeer Alaska ; Herding reindeer Alaska ; Hides seals preparation of ; Boats umiaks used as shelter Alaska ; Archaeology excavations Alaska ; Recreation community Nelakatuk ; Whaling butchering Alaska
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or Anthropology Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Received from Jewely Van Valin in 1986.
The collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
Tip top of the Earth: Arctic Alaskan Eskimo Educational Series, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Cataloging supported by Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
Typewritten letter sent by Vilhjalmur Stefansson to James Mooney on November 10, 1915 from the winter quarters of the Canadian Arctic Expedition at Armstrong Point, Victoria Island. The letter is a response to Mooney's letter sent July 10, 1914. In Stefansson's letter, Stefansson clarifies Eskimo terms and suggests people in Point Barrow, Alaska that Mooney can contact for information on the Barrow Eskimos. He also describes errors in his recently published diary, Stefánsson-Anderson Arctic expedition of the American museum: preliminary ethnological report, published by the American Museum of Natural History (1914).
Inupiaq (Alaskan Inupiat Eskimo) [Nuwukmiut/Point Barrow] Search this
Barrow, Point (Alaska)
This collection includes 27 prints and 26 copy negatives taken by Merl LaVoy among the Inupiaq in Alaska during the 1920s.
Scope and Contents:
Copy negatives include N35373-N35398. Photographic prints include P08480-P08506.
Arranged by catalog number.
Biographical / Historical:
Merl LaVoy, one of the first internationally famous news photographers, was born in 1886. He was a Wisconsin native, but after his parents died when he was still a young boy, LaVoy moved to Oregon to live with his uncle. In 1907, LaVoy worked for the Great Northern Development Company, which was prospecting for copper on the Kotsina River in Alaska. In 1910, LaVoy agreed to join Herschel Parker and Belmore Browne as an expedition photographer for their 1912 hike of Mt. McKinley (the highest peak in North America, also known as Denali) in Alaska. This trip marked the beginning of his professional pursuit of photography; he subsequently marketed his Alaskan photographs to newspapers and magazines, and soon established himself as a photographer, documentary film maker, and cameraman for Pathé News, a British company that produced documentaries, newsreels, and cinemagazines (1910-1970). He also traveled across Europe to document World War I. During the 1920s, he carried out a detailed photographic study of native Alaskan life. LaVoy died in 1953 in South Africa, where he was working as a freelance photographer.
Gift of Merl LaVoy, 1927
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: email@example.com).
Photos N34398, N35398, P08505, and P08505 are restricted due to cultural sensitivity.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Merl LaVoy photographs from Alaska, image #, NMAI.AC.163, National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.