These papers reflect the professional lives of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923), an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology, and Francis La Flesche (1856-1923), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Due to the close professional and personal relationship of Fletcher and La Flesche, their papers have been arranged jointly. The papers cover the period from 1874 to 1939. Included in the collection is correspondence, personal diaries, lectures, field notes and other ethnographic papers, drafts, musical transcriptions, publications by various authors, maps and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional lives of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923), an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard University and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology, and Francis La Flesche (1856-1923), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Due to the close professional and personal relationship of Fletcher and La Flesche, their papers have been arranged jointly. The papers cover the period from 1874 to 1939. Included in the collection is correspondence, personal diaries, lectures, field notes and other ethnographic papers, drafts, musical transcriptions, publications by various authors, maps and photographs.
The papers have been divided into three general categories: the papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher, the papers of Francis La Flesche, and the ethnographic research of Fletcher and La Flesche. The first two categories represent personal and professional materials of Fletcher and La Flesche. The third section holds the majority of the ethnographic material in the collection.
Of primary concern are Fletcher and La Flesche's ethnological investigations conducted among the Plains Indians, particularly the Omaha and Osage. Fletcher's Pawnee field research and her allotment work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs among the Omaha, Nez Perce, and Winnebago are represented in the collection. A substantial portion of the ethnographic material reflects Fletcher and La Flesche's studies of Native American music. Much of the correspondence in the papers of Fletcher and La Flesche is rich with information about the situation of Omaha peoples in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Also included in the collection are documents related to Fletcher's work with the Archaeological Institute of America and the School for American Archaeology. Additionally, substantial amounts of Fletcher's early anthropological and historical research are found among her correspondence, lectures, anthropological notes, and early field diaries. La Flesche's literary efforts are also generously represented.
The collection is divided into the following 3 series: 1) Alice Cunningham Fletcher papers, 1873-1925; 2) Francis La Flesche papers, 1881-1930; 3) Papers relating to the anthropological research of Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, 1877-1939.
Series 1: Alice Cunningham Fletcher papers is divided into the following 10 subseries: 1.1) Incoming correspondence, 1874-1923 (bulk 1882-1923); 1.2) Outgoing correspondence, 1873-1921; 1.3) Correspondence on specific subjects, 1881-1925; 1.4) Correspondence between Fletcher and La Flesche, 1895-1922; 1.5) Publications, 1882-1920; 1.6) Organizational records, 1904-1921; 1.7) General anthropological notes, undated; 1.8) Lectures, circa 1878-1910; 1.9) Diaries, 1881-1922; 1.10) Biography and memorabilia, 1878-1925.
Series 2: Francis La Flesche papers is divided into the following 6 subseries: 2.11) General correspondence, 1890-1929; 2.12) Correspondence on specific subjects, 1881-1930; 2.13) Publications, 1900-1927; 2.14) Literary efforts, undated; 2.15) Personal diaries, 1883-1924; 2.16) Biography and memorabilia, 1886-1930.
Series 3: Papers relating to the anthropological research of Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche is divided into the following 12 subseries: 3.17) Alaska, 1886-1887; 3.18) Earth lodges, 1882, 1898-1899; 3.19) Music, 1888-1918; 3.20) Nez Perce, 1889-1909; 3.21) Omaha, 1882-1922; 3.22) Osage, 1896-1939; 3.23) Pawnee, 1897-1910; 3.24) Pipes, undated; 3.25) Sioux, 1877-1896; 3.26) Other tribes, 1882-1922; 3.27) Publications collected, 1884-1905, undated; 3.28) Photographs, undated.
Biographical / Historical:
Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923) was an ethnologist with the Peabody Museum of Harvard and collaborator with the Bureau of American Ethnology. Francis La Flesche (1856-1923) was an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Chronology of the Life of Alice Cunningham Fletcher
1838 March 15 -- Born in Havana, Cuba
1873-1876 -- Secretary, American Association for Advancement of Women
1879 -- Informal student of anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1881 -- Field trip to Omaha and Rosebud Agencies
1882 -- Assistant in ethnology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1882 -- Helped secure land in severalty to Omaha Indians
1882-1883 -- Begins collaboration with Francis La Flesche on the Peabody Museum's collection of Omaha and Sioux artifacts
1883-1884 -- Special Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Omaha Agency
1886 -- Bureau of Education investigation of Alaskan native education
1887-1888 -- Special Disbursing Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Winnebago Agency
1889-1892 -- Special Agent for allotment, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nez Perce Agency
1890-1899 -- President, Women's Anthropological Society of America
1891-1923 -- Mary Copley Thaw Fellow, Peabody Museum, Harvard University
1892-1893 -- Department of Interior consultant, World's Columbian Exposition
1896 -- Vice-President, Section H, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1897 -- Collaborator, Bureau of American Ethnology
1899-1916 -- Editorial board, American Anthropologist
1900 -- Published Indian Story and Song from North America
1901-1902 -- Advisory committee, Anthropology Department, University of California at Berkeley
1903 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington
1904 -- Published The Hako: A Pawnee Ceremony with James Murie
1908-1913 -- Chair, Managing Committee of School of American Archaeology
1911 -- Honorary Vice-President, Section H, British Association for Advancement of Science
1911 -- Published The Omaha Tribe with Francis La Flesche
1913 -- Chair Emeritus, Managing Committee of School of American Archaeology
1915 -- Published Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports
1923 April 6 -- Died in Washington, D.C.
Chronology of the Life of Francis La Flesche
1857 December 25 -- Born on Omaha Reservation near Macy, Nebraska
1879 -- Lecture tour, Ponca chief Standing Bear
1881 -- Interpreter, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
1881-1910 -- Clerk, Bureau of Indian Affairs
1891 -- Informally adopted as Fletcher's son
1892 -- LL.B., National University Law School
1893 -- LL.M., National University Law School
1900 -- Published The Middle Five: Indian Boys at School
1906-1908 -- Marriage to Rosa Bourassa
1910-1929 -- Ethnologist, Bureau of American Ethnology
1911 -- Published The Omaha Tribe with Alice Fletcher
1921 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part One
1922 -- Member, National Academy of Sciences
1922-1923 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington
1925 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part Two
1926 -- Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Nebraska
1928 -- Published The Osage Tribe, Part Three
1932 -- Published Dictionary of the Osage Language
1932 September 5 -- Died in Thurston County, Nebraska
1939 -- Posthumous publication of War Ceremony and Peace Ceremony of the Osage Indians
Additional material related to the professional work of Fletcher and La Flesche in the National Anthropological Archives may be found among the correspondence of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) and the records of the Anthropological Society of Washington.
Sound recordings made by Fletcher and La Flesche can be found at the Library of Congress. The National Archives Records Administration hold the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), including those relating to allotments in severalty for the Nez Perce by Alice Fletcher. The Nebraska Historical Society has diaries, letters and clippings regarding the La Flesche family, including correspondence of Francis La Flesche and Fletcher. The Radcliffe College Archives holds a manuscript account of Alice Fletcher's four summers with the Nez Perce (1889-1892). Correspondence between Fletcher and F. W. Putnam is also located at the Peabody Museum Archives of Harvard University.
Ethnographic photographs from the collection have been catalogued by tribe in Photo Lot 24.
Glass plate negatives from the collection have been catalogued by tribe in the BAE glass negatives collection (Negative Numbers 4439-4515).
The papers of Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche have been received from an undocumented number of sources. Portions of Fletcher's ethnographic papers were donated to the archives by Mrs. G. David Pearlman in memory of her husband in 1959.
The Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche papers are open for research.
Access to the Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche papers requires an appointment.
Includes images of the indigenous people of Ecuador, primarily the Tsatchela (Tsachila, Colorado) of Pichincha province and the Shuar-Achuar of Oriente province. Also includes 51 images of the indigenous people of Honduras, primarily the Xicaque and Maya.
Scope and Contents:
The von Hagen collection primarily contains photographs and negatives made by von Hagen during his 1935 and 1936 travels in Ecuador on behalf of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The 1935 materials depict adult and child members of the Shuar-Achuar culture group engaged in weaving, drumming, and cooking. In addition there are representations of indigenous dwellings and of individuals dressed for ceremonies and using blow guns. The 1936 materials overwhelmingly depict Tsáchila (Colorado) peoples preparing food, weaving, potting, playing instruments, and participating in ceremonies, but also include depictions of the Runa (Otavaleño/Otavalo) people spinning cotton and sitting for potraits. The collection also contains photographic materials dated to 1937 that depict Mayan artifacts and Jicaque men of Honduras building rafts, fishing, and standing for their poritraits. Von Hagen's Tsáchila and Jicaque photographs illustrated his contributions to the Museum's series Indian Notes and Monographs, The Tsáchila Indians of western Ecuador (no. 51) and The Jicaque (Torrupan) Indians of Honduras (no. 53).
Negatives: organized in individual sleeves; arranged by negative number
Prints: organized in folders; arranged by print number
Negatives Arranged by negative number (N36360, N36648, N36654-N36656, N36661, N36733-N36740, N36749-N36752, N36755, N36758-N36769, N36772-N36779, N36781-N36797, N36803-N36853, N37366, N37386, N41444)
Prints Arranged by photograph number (P11502-P11510, P12316-P12473, P12522-P12525, P12596-P12657, P12855-P12859, P12941-P12949, P13329-P13362, P15428, P15491, P15585, P16246)
Victor Wolfgang von Hagen was an American explorer, archaeological historian, anthropologist, naturalist, zoologist, and travel writer. In the 1930s, he led several Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation collecting expeditions to Central and South America and continued to travel throughout the region into the 1970s.
Gift of Dr. von Hagen
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Photographs made by George C. Coudert among the Tenharim and Parintintín (Parintintin) communities in Brazil during a 1924 expedition.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes 14 negatives shot by George Coudert among the Tenharim and Parintintín (Parintintin) communities along the Rio dos Marmelos in the Amazonas State in Brazil. These were made during an expedition to collect rare bird specimens on behalf of the Zoological Gardens of Philadelphia. According to his original negative sleeves, the expedition stayed six days in the Madeira region to study the indigenous people in the area. Images include portraits of Tenharim and Parintintín (Parintintin) men, women, and children, often posed in groups outside of dwellings and along the river. The photographs were made in 1924 and were likely shot on nitrate. The negatives were transferred to safety film (acetate) in the 1960s when the Museum of the American Indian, Heye foundation conducted a large scale photograph conservation project. Contact prints were also made at this time.
Catalog numbers: N09121-N09134
Arranged by catalog number.
Biographical / Historical:
George C. Coudert (1884-1955) was a photographer and cinematographer. Born in France, Coudert moved to the United States as a young child and attended school in Newark, New Jersey. Thought he started his career as a photographer, he moved into film and worked as cinematographer for most of his career. In the 1920's, Coudert went on several expeditions to South America serving as the photographer. In 1924 he travelled to Brazil on a rare bird catching expedition for the Zoological Gardens of Philadelphia, along with Joseph McGoldrick, Rudolphe Meyer De Schauensee, Henry Norris and Alec Eesso. Eventually, Coudert moved to California where he lived out the rest of his life.
It is still unclear how this collection came to the Museum of the American Indian, though it was likely a donation around 1924-1925 based on the catalog numbers.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: email@example.com). Some images restricted for cultural sensitivity.
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org. For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.