This collection contains 15 photographs depicting Karajá (Caraja) peoples of Tocantins State in Brazil, circa 1930-1931.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 15 photographs (including 7 copy negatives) that were shot by anthropologist Elizabeth K. Steen circa 1930-1931. The photographs depict the Karajá (Caraja) peoples of Tocantins State in Brazil. The photographs include portraits of individuals in traditional dress, as well as scenes of daily life such as preparing meals, body painting, and carrying water.
Collection arranged by Catalog number.
Biographical / Historical:
Born in 1886, Elizabeth Kilgore Steen was an explorer and anthropologist. She studied anthropology at the University of California. Steen visited Karajá (Caraja) and Tapirapé (Tapirape) villages in Brazil circa 1930-1931. Her publications include the 1937 children's book, Red Jungle Boy, which she wrote and illustrated. She died in 1938.
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries hold a copy of Elizabeth K. Steen's book Red Jungle Boy (call no. F2230.S77 1937)
This National Museum of the American Indian also holds Karajá (Caraja) objects collected by Elizabeth K. Steen: Object numbers 189729-189853.
Museum purchase from Elizabeth Steen, 1936.
Access to NMAI Archive 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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to email@example.com. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Elizabeth K. Steen photographs from Brazil, Item Number, NMAI.AC.196; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, 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.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of images of paintings by Vladimir Kozak and his artifacts relating to Brazilian tribes, photographed by James A. Jensen at Kozak's home in Curitaba, Brazil, in September 1965. It also includes a watercolor image of body decoration at a ceremony held by the upper Xingu River tibes of Central Brazil. Additionally, there is one lithograph poster of a J. A. Jensen painting of Chief Joseph, dated 1974.
James A. Jensen (1918-1998) was a paleontologist and Director of the Earth Sciences Museum at Brigham Young University (BYU). While at BYU, he conducted fieldwork in both North and South America, at which point he may have met Vladimir Kozak. He created pastel and acrylic artwork, particularly of flowers, landscapes, and American Indians.
Artist Vladimir Kozak was trained in Czechoslovakia in mechanical engineering, sculpture, and painting. In 1923, he immigrated to Brazil. As Kozak's interest in the Indian tribes of Brazil grew, he increasingly focused on painting and sculpting, particularly during the 1940s and 1950s. He also became a still photographer, film maker, and collector of Indian artifacts.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 79-1
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs of Brazilian Indians can be found in the National Museum of the American Indian Archives in the Frederick Starr negatives and lanterns slides and the Borys Malkin slides, negatives and other material.
Photographs of Chief Joseph can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 59.