Photographs made on Hector Acebes's expeditions in Africa and South America, mostly during the 1950s. Many of the images document people and markets in Africa (1949 and 1953), including Kikuyu, Masai, Mangbetu, Fulani, and Bassari peoples. There are also photographs made in the French Sudan, Guinea, Togo, Dahomey, Cameroon, the Congo Republic, Ruanda, Kenya, and Tanganyika. These prints were made for an exhibit.
Other sets include images of Jivaro, January, 1950; the Vaupés River and nearby tribes, September, 1950; a journey up the Orinoco to the Guaica, February, 1951; Arhuaco peoples, 1958; and Yuco peoples, 1960. Many photographs depict scenery and dwellings or are portraits (some show body and face paint). There are also images of fishing and hunting (Guaica); musical pipes (Guaica), a bridge, weaving, and bows and arrows (Arhuaco). Some photographs depict expedition members, including Acebes. The collection also includes photographs of the cover of Acebes' Orinoco Adventure, 1954, and coverage of his expeditions in Look, April 8, 1952, and Time (Latin American edition), December 24, 1951.
Hector Acebes was born in 1921 in New York City and raised in Madrid and Bogota. While in college at the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, he operated his own photo studio. After graduating from MIT in 1947 with a degree in mechanical engineering, he moved back to Bogota. Throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s, Acebes undertook expeditions in Africa and South America and started to work as a professional filmmaker and lecturer. Acebes wrote, filmed, directed, and edited each of the forty-three films his production company, Acebes Productions, released.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 94-28
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Uaica photographs collected by Acebes held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4389.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 94-28, Hector Acebes photographs of African and South American peoples, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution