These studio portraits are of Native Americans from southwestern Arizona, and were probably taken in Bonine’s photography
tent in Yuma, 1880-1883.
Elias A. Bonine (1843-1916) was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Not much is known about his early life, but at some point
he became interested in photography for a career.
In 1876, Bonine sold a sawmill he owned and moved to California along with his cameras. He traveled throughout California,
operating a tent photography business as he went. His travels from 1880 to 1883 took him to Yuma, Arizona, where he photographed
the Yuma, Mohave, and Cocopa Indians. The point of these photographs was not to archive the tribes’ cultures, but to satisfy
customers’ desires to see a romanticized version of the Indians. Despite his popularity, Bonine left Yuma and moved back west
to Pasadena, where he set up his home base. He travelled back to Arizona in later years, photographing the Silver King Mine
area and the town of Pinal.
73 photographs in 1 box; photographs 17.5 x 11 cm. (7 x 4 in.). See itemized list under "Additional collection guides."
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.
Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington