The Helga Teiwes photograph collection contains over 7,000 negatives, slides and prints made by Teiwes between 1965 and 2002. For over thirty years Teiwes worked as a staff photographer for the Arizona State Museum, photographing and documenting Native American communities across the American Southwest. During this time, Teiwes also privately took photographs and built personal relationships among members of the Akimel O'odham, Tohono O'odham, Apache, Diné (Navajo) and Hopi tribes. These photographs include portraits of artists at work, families in their homes, daily life on the reservation, special events and landscape photography. Additionally, the Teiwes collection includes photographs from a 1975 trip to Peru and photographs of the Tarahumara (Rarámuri) community in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Scope and Contents:
The Helga Teiwes photograph collection contains over 7,000 negatives, slides and prints made by Teiwes between 1965 and 2002 across the American Southwest, Mexico and Peru. The majority of the photographs document daily life and activities, artists at work, and special events among members of the Akimel O'odham, Tohono O'odham, Apache, Diné (Navajo) and Hopi tribes in Arizona and New Mexico. A smaller amount of photographs documents trips Teiwes made to Mexico to photograph the Tarahumara (Rarámuri) community in Chihuahua and a 1975 summer trip to Peru. The collection is arranged into seven series with additional subseries.
Series 1, Akimel O'odham (Pima), 1965-1993, 2001, contains photographs mostly taken among the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. These include intimate portraits, landscape views and views of farming and agriculture. Of particular note are photographs of Patricia "Pat" Stone and her family and basket weaver Julia Francisco. The majority of the photographs in Series 2, Apache, 1973-1994, are from two San Carlos Apache coming of age ceremonies, or "Changing Woman" ceremonies, from 1992 and 1994. The 1992 ceremony for Leia Tenille Johnson was held in Whiteriver, Arizona and the 1994 ceremony for Vanessa Jordan of Bylas, Arizona. A selection of 50 photographic prints from these ceremonies were later exhibited in "Western Apache Sunrise Ceremony" at the University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology. The largest series, Series 3, Diné (Navajo), 1969-2002, is divided into seven subseries by topics. This includes artists and artisans, families and individuals across the Navajo Nation, industry and agriculture, trading posts and markets, places, schools, and other topics. Of particular note are the photographs of the Greyeyes family from Tsegi Canyon, Arizona. In addition to photographing matriarch Bessie Salt Greyeyes at home with family, weaving, cooking, shopping around town and herding sheep and goats, Teiwes accompanied Pete Greyeyes to work at the Peabody Coal Mining Company. Other places and events of note include photographs of Monument Valley, Window Rock, seat of the Navajo Nation, the Hubbell and Shonto trading posts and the 1990 graduation from Navajo Community College (Now Diné College).
Series 4, Hopi, 1968-2002, highlights the work and artistry of Hopi basket weavers. Many of the photographs in this series were included in Teiwes's 1996 book Hopi Basket Weaving: Artistry in Natural Fibers. Coiled basket weavers from the Second Mesa include Madeline Lamson, Joyce Ann Saufkie, Evelyn Selestewa and Bertha Wadsworth, among others. Wicker basket weavers from the Third Mesa include Eva Hoyungowa, Abigail Kaursgowva, Vera Pooyouma and Vernita Silas, among others. Teiwes also photographed additional artists and events on the Hopi reservation including Maechel Saufkie's 1995 wedding. Series 5, Peru, 1975 includes photographs from Teiwes's 1975 summer trip to Peru. Teiwes visited and photographed several pre-Colombian archaeological sites including Sacsahuaman and Machu Piccu in addition to photographing in larger cities such as Cuzco, Lima and Quito (Ecuador). A large number of photographs in this series are from the Inti Raymi parade and festival held in Cuzco during their winter solstice. Series 6, Tarahumara (Rarámuri), 1971, 1977-1979 contains photographs from three trips to Chihuahua, Mexico to photograph the Tarahumara (Rarámuri) people for an Arizona State Museum exhibition held in 1979. Also included are photographs from the exhibition opening in Arizona. Series 7, Tohono O'odham, 1969-1995, 2002 contains photographs of the saguaro cactus harvest in addition to other special events among the Tohono O'odham people. Teiwes documented Juanita Ahill, and later her niece Stella Tucker, throughout the process of harvesting and processing the saguaro cactus plant to make jam and ceremonial wine. Additional events photographed in this series include the San Xavier Elders parade and Tumacacori festival.
The photographs in this collection range all media types: 6x6cm color/black and white negatives; 35mm color/black and white negatives; 35mm and 6x6cm color slides; 6x6cm transparencies; contact sheets; and 3x5, 4x6, 8x10 and larger color/black and white photographic prints, some matted for sale or exhibition purposes. Teiwes did include handwritten notations on the backs of some photographs and slide mounts. There is also a small amount of paper documentation.
This collection is arranged into seven series by culture group or location. Series 1: Akimel O'odham (Pima), Series 2: Apache, Series 3: Diné (Navajo), Series 4: Hopi, Series 5: Peru, Series 6: Tarahumara (Rarámuri), Series 7: Tohono O'odham.
Biographical / Historical:
Helga Kulbe Teiwes was born in Büderich, near Düsseldorf, in Germany in 1930. In 1950 Teiwes began a trade apprenticeship in photography under Master photographer Erna Hehmke-Winterer, a specialist in black and white portraiture, architectural and industrial photography. In 1957 Teiwes earned her master's degree in photography and worked as an industrial photographer in Düsseldorf until she emigrated to New York in 1960. During her four years in New York City, Teiwes worked as a darkroom worker, an assistant photographer for Cartier Jewelers and as a transparency retoucher. She also continued to build her portfolio through free-lance work. In 1964, a trip to Mesa Verde inspired Teiwes to seek work in the Southwest. The same year she was hired by Dr. Emil Haury of the University of Arizona to photograph his excavation of Snaketown on the Gila River Indian Reservation. Following Snaketown, Teiwes was hired as a museum photographer for the Arizona State Museum (ASM) at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She was also sought after for other archaeological projects during the 1960s and 1970s to take publication and studio shots. During this time, Teiwes developed a deep interest in the people and cultures of the Southwest and spent a significant amount of time on reservations building personal relationships among the Hopi, Apache, Tohono O'dham and Diné (Navajo) among others. Teiwes took a particular interest in documenting Native artists and the work they produced, including basket weavers, potters, jewelers and carvers. Teiwes also worked to capture everyday life among the Native people of the Southwest in addition to documenting special events like the Apache coming of age ceremony and the Tohono O'odham Saguaro Cactus harvest. Teiwes retired from the Arizona State Museum in 1993 but continued to work as a freelance photographer and writer in Tuscon.
Throughout her career Teiwes's photographs and essays were published nationally and internationally. Her photographic study Navajo was published by the Swiss publisher U. Bar Varlag in 1991 and published in English in 1993. Her books Kachina Dolls: The Art of the Hopi Carvers and Hopi Basket Weaving: Artistry in Natural Fibers were published by the University of Arizona Press in 1991 and 1996. From October 2003 to June 2004, the Arizona State Museum held an exhibition titled "With an Eye on Culture: The Photography of Helga Teiwes" highlighting the broad scope of her career.
In 2013, Teiwes donated her collection of personal photographs, not taken for the Arizona State Museum, to the National Museum of the American Indian, Archive Center. Teiwes's photographs taken for the Arizona State Museum are housed in the ASM's photographic archives.
There is a large collection of photographs at the Arizona State Museum where Teiwes worked from 1964-1993. These photographs include harvesting of mesquite, cholla, and saguaro; traditional farming of corn at Hopi and of tepary beans among the Tohono O'odham; and craftspeople and their art in basketry, katsina carving, pottery, and weaving.
This collection was donated by Helga Teiwes in 2013.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please contact the NMAI Archive Center (NMAIArchives@si.edu) regarding the use of this collection, donor restrictions apply.
Contents: Part I-Man. A. Names, locations, and divisions of the tribes. Twanas, Chemakums, Clallams. B. History. C. Population, and causes affecting. D. Progress: In medical practice. In house building. In dress. In implements. In social customs. In education. In morals. In religion. Part II- Surroundings. A. Inorganic. Outline, etc., of Territory. Geology, economic. Climate. Minerals. C. Social. Travels. Commerce. Part III.- Culture. Chapter 1- Means of subsistance: A. Food. Fish and marine mammals. Shell fish. Roots and branches. Wild fruits. Land mammals. Birds. Salt. Cooking. Storing. B. Drinks. Infusions. Ardent spirits. C. Narcotics. D. Savors. E. Medicines. Chapter II- Habitations and other structures and their appurtenance: A. Houses for human occupancy. Potlatch houses. Sweat houses. Large dwelling-houses. Flat-roofed dwelling-houses. Houses with the roof wholly on one side. Government houses. Mat houses. Half-circle camps. Tents of cotton cloth. Out-buildings. B. Appurtenances to dwellings. Doors. Fireplaces. Material for building. C. Furniture and utensils. Beds. Rugs. Mats. Chapter III- Household vessels and utensils: A. For holding water, food, etc. Baskets. Boxes. Dishes. B. For preparing food. C. For serving and eating food. Mats. Baskets. Plate and troughs. Trays. Ladles. Stone dishes. Pipes. Napkins. D. Miscellaneous. Torches.
Chapter IV- Clothing: d. Head clothing. Hats. E. Body clothing. Pantaloons, shirts, and coats. Blankets. Mat-coats. F. Arm clothing. G. Leg and foot clothing. H. Parts of dress. Lace. Fastenings. Fringes. Bead-work. I. Receptacles for dress. Boxes. Baskets. Chapter V- Personal adornments: A. Skin ornamentation. Tattooing. Painting. B. Head ornaments. Head bands. Plumes. Ear pendants. C. Neck ornaments. Necklaces. D. Breast ornaments. E. Ornaments for the limbs. Bracelets. Finger-rings. F. Toilet articles. Combs. Chapter VI- Implements. (I) Of general use. Knives. Axes, and adzes. Wedges. Chisels. Hammers. Awls. (II) Of war and the chase. A. Weapons for striking. Clubs. B. Throwing weapons. Strings and shots. Fire-pots. C. Cutting weapons. D. Thrusting weapons. Spears. E. Projectile weapons. Bows and arrows. Cases for projectiles. F. Defensive weapons. (III) Implements of special use. A. For stone working. C. For bow and arrow-making. D. Fishing implements. Spears and hooks. Traps and nets. Bouys. Sinkers. F. For leather-working. G. Builder's tool. K. For procuring and manufacturing food. L. Agricultural implements. M. For basket-working. Tools. Ornamentation. N. For working fiber. Hacklers. Spindles. Looms. P. For special crafts. Painting. Dyeing. Sand paper. Rope and strings. Of vegetable matter. Of animal matter.
Chapter VII- Locomotion and transportation. A. Traveling by water. Canoes. Large canoes. Shovel canoes. Small canoes. B. Accessories to water travel. Poles. Paddles. Oars. Sails. Rudders. Anchors. Bailing vessels. C. Foot traveling. Snow shoes. D. Land conveyances. Chapter VIII- Measuring and valuing. A. Counting. B. Measuring. Time. Length. Quality. C. Valuing. Chapter IX- Games and pastimes. With bones. A. Gambling: With disks. Women's games. Cards. B. Field sports and festive games. Dancing. Horse-racing. Shooting. Children's plays. Chapter XI- Music: Instruments and accompaniments. Songs. Boat songs. Patriotic songs. Gambling songs. Nursery songs. Funeral songs. War songs. Religious songs. Chapter XII- Art: On baskets. On cloth. On skin. On wood. Carvings. On horn and bone. On metal. On stone. Chapter XIII- Language and literature. A. Language. The Twana. The Skwaksin. The Chemakum. The Chinook jargon. The English language. B. Literature: Tales about thunder and lightning. Tales about the Sun. Proverbs of the Clallams. Fables of the Twanas. The pheasant and the raven. The enchanted husband. The colcine Indian and the wolf. Domesticating wolves. Modern orations.
Chapter XIV- Domestic life: A. Marriage. B. Children. Cradling. Naming. C. Women. Puberty dance. Chapter XV- Social life and customs: A. Eating. B. Cannibalism. C. Potlatches. Potlatch Number 1. Dancing. Gambling. Tamanous. Eating. The potlatch proper, or distribution of gifts. Learning. Potlatch Number 2. Potlatch Number 3. D. Funeral and burial customs. 1st Period. 2nd Period: canoe burial. 3rd Period: scaffold burial in cemeteries. 4th Period: burial in the ground with Indian accessories. 5th Period: civilized burial. Funeral ceremonies. Mourning observances. Cemeteries. Progress. Chapter XVI- Government. A. Organization. B. Laws and regulations. Division of Labor. Property rights. Chapter XVII- Religion. A. Objects and implements of reverence and worship. Supreme Being. Demons. Angelic spirits. Inanimate objects. Images, pictures, etc. Water. Idols. The sun. Implements of worship. Hand-sticks (wands). Head bands. Drums. Rattles. Masks. B. Holy places C. Ecclesiastical organization. Medicine men. Rain-makers.
D. Sacred rites. Tamanous. Finding tamanous. Using tamanous. Tamanous for wind. Tamanous for gambling. Tamanous to produce and cure illness. The crazy tamanous. Tamanous for the living. Tamanous for lost souls. Black tamanous. Purification. Sacrifice. Dancing. E. Myths and traditions. The Flood. Ants. Snakes. F. Beliefs. Dreams. Future existence. Incarnation and metamorphoses. Chapter XVIII- Archeology: Stone age. Skeletons. Shell heaps. List of archeological items in the book.
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation of Idaho
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 3 audiocassettes of interviews conducted by Rev. Dr. Reaves F. Nahwooks in 1998 with members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe of the Fort Hall Reservation in Ft. Hall, Idaho. These interviews were designed to gain information on the original relationship between Shoshones and Comanches, the early history of the two tribes and the tribal members' perceptions of their identity as Shoshone-Bannocks. Also includes a 32-page transcript of the interviews, a 3-page summary of his research, and 14 inkjet prints depicting scenes from the cultural exchange festival at Fort Hall, taken by Walter Bigbee.
Biographical / Historical:
Rev. Dr. Reaves F. Nahwooks was one of the founders of the annual Shoshonean-Aztec Language Reunion, a meeting of the Shoshone, Comanche, Utes and other tribes who have a language connection with the Shoshone. As a Comanche Nation tribal member, he was particularly interested in the linguistic and cultural similarities between the Comanche and the Shoshone.
NAA MS 1999-16
Copyright for photographs is held by Walter Bigbee.