ABSTRACT

In 1885, neophyte anthropologist Franz Boas found himself employed by Berlin's Museum fr Vlkerkunde to help catalogue a large collection from the Northwest Coast of North America, assembled for the museum a few years earlier by Johan Adrian Jacobsen. Though many foundational anthropologists such as Boas utilized museum exhibition and motion pictures for cultural representation, photography has been the most accessible and ubiquitous technology of visualization in the field. Following the debut of realistic ethnic groups at the Chicago fair, Otis Mason hired Boas to create a life group representing the Northwest Coast for the United States National Museum(USNM). The National Museum acquired a large collection of ceremonial material that George Hunt had been gathering in Fort Rupert, giving Boas the chance to further refine and specify his life group. Dorsey prepared his Hamat'sa ethnic group explicitly replicating the one Boas mounted in Washington DC, adorning it with the regalia collected by Newcombe and his Kwagu' assistant, Charlie Nowell.