Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Earle Forrest Photographs of Hopi Indians: Finding Aid
photCL 126  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (85.13 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Earle Forrest Photographs of Hopi Indians
    Dates (inclusive): 1906-1908
    Collection Number: photCL 126
    Creator: Forrest, Earle R. (Earle Robert), 1883-1969
    Extent: 77 prints and 1 copy negative in 1 box; prints 9 x 14.5 cm. (3.5 x 6 in.)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: 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.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Earle Forrest Photographs of Hopi Indians, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Earle R. Forrest on March 8, 1962.

    Biographical Note

    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.
    Forrest broke away from ranch work in 1914, when he took a temporary job with the newspaper the Washington Record. When 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.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection of 77 photographs by Earle Robert Forrest documents Hopi Native Americans in the villages of Oraibi and Mishongnovi, Arizona, in 1906-1908. The prints, made in the early 1960s, are accompanied by extensive descriptive typed captions by Forrest on the backs. Images depict Hopi natives and their families; the Hopi villages of Oraibi and Mishongnovi; the Snake Dance; the Antelope Dance; the Blue Flute Ceremony; the race before the Snake Dance; initiation ceremonies into the Snake Society; kivas; the altar of the Blue Flute Society; preparations for the Blue Flute Ceremony; and crypts (in which smallpox victims were burned) being used as a storage area. There are also photographs of Forrest traveling through Arizona and American painter Louis Akin observing the Snake Dance ceremony.
    Two photographs from 1960, a photograph of an amphitheater in Wupatki National Monument and a photograph of a stone serpent head at a temple of Quetzalcoatl in San Juan Teotihuacán, Mexico, are included. It appears from the photo captions that Forrest placed these photos in the collection to help explain the origins of the Hopi Snake Dance.
    Item titles transcribed in an abridged form from the photograph captions.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  
    Hopi Indians -- Photographs.
    Kivas -- Photographs.
    Rites and ceremonies -- Arizona -- Hopi Indian Reservation -- Photographs.
    Snake dance -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America -- Arizona -- Photographs.
    Akin, Louis, 1868-1913 -- Photographs.
    Forrest, Earle R. (Earle Robert), 1883-1969 -- Photographs.
    Oraibi (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Second Mesa (Ariz. : Mesa) -- Photographs.