This is a group of photographs documenting the dances and rituals of Hopi Native Americans in Arizona. The majority are of
the Snake Dance and Blue Flute Dance ceremonies, but there are also candid views of people in their everyday lives, as well
as sacred places and objects. The prints are relatively small, on thin paper, and have extensive typed captions by Earle Forrest
on the back.
Earle Robert Forrest was born on June 20, 1883 in Washington, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, he took three
years off from studying and spent some of that time at his uncle’s farm in Missouri; his encounter with cowboys there instilled
in Forrest a desire to travel to the western United States.
From 1902 to 1907, Forrest spent his summers and autumns working on various cow camps and ranches throughout the western United
States, including Montana, California, and Arizona. In 1906, he had the opportunity to witness the Hopi Snake Dance at Oraibi,
Arizona, which he photographed.
In the summer of 1907, while working in Flagstaff, Forrest was told by his manager to take an artist, Louis Akin, and go to
the Hopi Snake Dance at Mishongnovi. The two men did go to the Snake Dance and also attended a Flute Ceremony at Oraibi; during
these travels, Forrest took hundreds of pictures of the Hopi people, their villages, and their rain dance ceremonies.
Forrest broke away from ranch work in 1914, when he took a temporary job with the newspaper the Washington Record. Even though
the paper folded six years later, Forrest moved on to work for the Washington Reporter, where he specialized in writing daily
columns of historical topics until he retired in 1960. Forrest became a well-known contributor to travel and outdoor life
magazines, as well as a writer of local Pennsylvania history.
Forrest passed away at the age of 86 on August 25, 1969 in Washington, Pennsylvania.
All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or
imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.