Photographs made by William F. Wheeler during his expeditions to Africa in July 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1998, mostly documenting the Efe of Akokora in the Ituri forest. Photographs relating to the Efe people of Akokora in the Ituri forest include images of Efe people, camps, musical instruments, dances, archery and poison arrows, hunting, barkcloth making and use, body marking, food, animals and plants of the rainforest, forest treks, villages (including Anduli, Dui, and Akokora). Other photographs include images of ceremonies (including an Olngesherr ceremony in the Loita Hills), Mbuti at Epulu, a Masai village in Kenya, William Wheeler's wedding to Linda Penn in a Masai village (1987), Berber nomads and scenic views in Algeria, markets and Tuaregs during a camel trip through Niger, and aerial views.
William F. Wheeler (1943-2008) was born in Blackville, South Carolina, and earned a medical degree from Duke University and a specialty degree in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General in Boston. In 1978, after years of practicing medicine, he began traveling Africa by car, making over twenty-four trips during the next three decades. To gain a more intimate experience, he returned to explore the most remote places on foot. His detailed safari journals, written in the style of 19th century explorers, describe camel journeys in the Sahara, foot safaris with Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania, and hundreds of miles of treks with Efe through the rainforest of the Ituri river basin, a tributary of the Congo River. Wheeler's collection of artifacts and photographs formed the basis of a 2004 exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 2005-19, NAA ACC 2010-21
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs previously filed in Photo Lot 2005-19 have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 2010-21. These photographs were also made by William F. Wheeler in Africa and form part of this collection.
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the William F. Wheeler Efe Pgymy Papers, 1999-2004 (MS 2005-14).
Artifacts collected by Wheeler held in the Department of Anthropology collections in accessions 2036145, 2034089, and 2033754.
William F. Wheeler papers and photographs of Efe Pygmies. A large part, if not all, of these materials are associated with the 2004 exhibit of Wheeler's Efe Pygmies photographs and artifacts at the San Diego Museum of Man titled "Efe: Archers of the Congo." This collection consists of mounted photographs (20 x 30 inches and 11 x 17 inches); text panels; "Safari Diary of William Wheeler" (3 volumes of typed diary transcripts from 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1998); photocopies of the original handwritten diaires; bound sample pages of drawings from diaries; enlarged and laminated copies of field journal pages used for the exhibit; a photocopy of Efe collection provenance book (relates to artifact collection donated to NMNH Department of Anthropology Collections Management ); and list of those artifacts and items listed herein.
Biographical / Historical:
William F. Wheeler was born in Blackville, S.C. in 1943 and received an M.D. degree from Duke University after completing his internship at UC San Diego and a specialty degree in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General in Boston. After years of practicing medicine, he bought a Land Rover and began traveling Africa on his own, chalking up 40,000 miles over a five year period. To gain a more intimate experience, he returned to the most remote places and began to explore them on foot. His detailed safari journals, written in the style of 19th century explorers, describe camel journeys in the Sahara, foot safaris with Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania, and hundred of miles of treks with Efe through the rainforest of the Ituri river basin, a tributary of the Congo River. He passed away at the age of 65 of bone-marrow cancer in 2008.
NAA MS 2005-14
Other Archival Materials:
See Photo Lot 2005-19 for William F. Wheeler's color slides of Efe Pygmies.
A DVD video of Efee culture edited from video material was transferred to HSFA.