A collection of 77 photographs by Earle Robert Forrest (1883-1969) documenting the dances and rituals of Hopi Native Americans
in the villages of Oraibi and Mishongnovi, Arizona, in 1906-1908.
The images primarily depict the Snake Race, 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,
made in the early 1960s, are accompanied by extensive typed captions by Forrest.
Earle Robert Forrest (1883-1969) 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 the artist Louis Akin 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.
77 prints and 1 copy negative in 1 box; prints 9 x 14.5 cm. (3.5 x 6 in.)
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