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Photographs of Indians of the Southwest by E. A. Bonine
photCL 200  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
These studio portraits are of Native Americans from southwestern Arizona, and were probably taken in Bonine’s photography tent in Yuma, 1880-1883.
Background
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.
Extent
73 photographs in 1 box; photographs 17.5 x 11 cm. (7 x 4 in.). See itemized list under "Additional collection guides."
Restrictions
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.
Availability
Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.