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Photographs of Indians of the Southwest by E.A. Bonine: Finding Aid
photCL 200  
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This collection contains 73 studio portraits of Native Americans from southwestern Arizona, and were probably taken between 1880 and 1883 in E.A. Bonine’s photography tent in Yuma, Arizona.
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.)
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