Helga Teiwes Photograph Collection, 1965-2002
NMAI.AC.070

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.070
Creators:
Teiwes, Helga
Dates:
1965-2002
Languages:
English
This collection is in English.
Physical Description:
433 photographic prints
3,775 negatives (photographic)
3,126 slides (photographs)
196 transparencies
Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
The Helga Teiwes photograph collection contains over 7,000 negatives, slides and prints made by Teiwes between 1965 and 2002. For over thirty years Teiwes worked as a staff photographer for the Arizona State Museum, photographing and documenting Native American communities across the American Southwest. During this time, Teiwes also privately took photographs and built personal relationships among members of the Akimel O’odham, Tohono O’odham, Apache, Diné (Navajo) and Hopi tribes. These photographs include portraits of artists at work, families in their homes, daily life on the reservation, special events and landscape photography. Additionally, the Teiwes collection includes photographs from a 1975 trip to Peru and photographs of the Tarahumara (Rarámuri) community in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The Helga Teiwes photograph collection contains over 7,000 negatives, slides and prints made by Teiwes between 1965 and 2002 across the American Southwest, Mexico and Peru. The majority of the photographs document daily life and activities, artists at work, and special events among members of the Akimel O’odham, Tohono O’odham, Apache, Diné (Navajo) and Hopi tribes in Arizona and New Mexico. A smaller amount of photographs documents trips Teiwes made to Mexico to photograph the Tarahumara (Rarámuri) community in Chihuahua and a 1975 summer trip to Peru. The collection is arranged into seven series with additional subseries.
Series 1, Akimel O’odham (Pima)
, 1965-1993, 2001, contains photographs mostly taken among the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. These include intimate portraits, landscape views and views of farming and agriculture. Of particular note are photographs of Patricia “Pat” Stone and her family and basket weaver Julia Francisco. The majority of the photographs in
Series 2, Apache
, 1973-1994, are from two San Carlos Apache coming of age ceremonies, or “Changing Woman” ceremonies, from 1992 and 1994. The 1992 ceremony for Leia Tenille Johnson was held in Whiteriver, Arizona and the 1994 ceremony for Vanessa Jordan of Bylas, Arizona. A selection of 50 photographic prints from these ceremonies were later exhibited in "Western Apache Sunrise Ceremony" at the University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology. The largest series,
Series 3, Diné (Navajo)
, 1969-2002, is divided into seven subseries by topics. This includes artists and artisans, families and individuals across the Navajo Nation, industry and agriculture, trading posts and markets, places, schools, and other topics. Of particular note are the photographs of the Greyeyes family from Tsegi Canyon, Arizona. In addition to photographing matriarch Bessie Salt Greyeyes at home with family, weaving, cooking, shopping around town and herding sheep and goats, Teiwes accompanied Pete Greyeyes to work at the Peabody Coal Mining Company. Other places and events of note include photographs of Monument Valley, Window Rock, seat of the Navajo Nation, the Hubbell and Shonto trading posts and the 1990 graduation from Navajo Community College (Now Diné College).
Series 4, Hopi
, 1968-2002, highlights the work and artistry of Hopi basket weavers. Many of the photographs in this series were included in Teiwes's 1996 book
Hopi Basket Weaving: Artistry in Natural Fibers
. Coiled basket weavers from the Second Mesa include Madeline Lamson, Joyce Ann Saufkie, Evelyn Selestewa and Bertha Wadsworth, among others. Wicker basket weavers from the Third Mesa include Eva Hoyungowa, Abigail Kaursgowva, Vera Pooyouma and Vernita Silas, among others. Teiwes also photographed additional artists and events on the Hopi reservation including Maechel Saufkie’s 1995 wedding.
Series 5, Peru
, 1975 includes photographs from Teiwes’s 1975 summer trip to Peru. Teiwes visited and photographed several pre-Colombian archaeological sites including Sacsahuaman and Machu Piccu in addition to photographing in larger cities such as Cuzco, Lima and Quito (Ecuador). A large number of photographs in this series are from the Inti Raymi parade and festival held in Cuzco during their winter solstice.
Series 6, Tarahumara (Rarámuri)
, 1971, 1977-1979 contains photographs from three trips to Chihuahua, Mexico to photograph the Tarahumara (Rarámuri) people for an Arizona State Museum exhibition held in 1979. Also included are photographs from the exhibition opening in Arizona.
Series 7, Tohono O’odham
, 1969-1995, 2002 contains photographs of the saguaro cactus harvest in addition to other special events among the Tohono O’odham people. Teiwes documented Juanita Ahill, and later her niece Stella Tucker, throughout the process of harvesting and processing the saguaro cactus plant to make jam and ceremonial wine. Additional events photographed in this series include the San Xavier Elders parade and Tumacacori festival.
The photographs in this collection range all media types: 6x6cm color/black and white negatives; 35mm color/black and white negatives; 35mm and 6x6cm color slides; 6x6cm transparencies; contact sheets; and 3x5, 4x6, 8x10 and larger color/black and white photographic prints, some matted for sale or exhibition purposes. Teiwes did include handwritten notations on the backs of some photographs and slide mounts. There is also a small amount of paper documentation.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged into seven series by culture group or location.
Series 1:
Akimel O'odham (Pima),
Series 2:
Apache,
Series 3:
Diné (Navajo),
Series 4:
Hopi,
Series 5:
Peru,
Series 6:
Tarahumara (Rarámuri),
Series 7:
Tohono O'odham.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Helga Kulbe Teiwes was born in Büderich, near Düsseldorf, in Germany in 1930. In 1950 Teiwes began a trade apprenticeship in photography under Master photographer Erna Hehmke-Winterer, a specialist in black and white portraiture, architectural and industrial photography. In 1957 Teiwes earned her master’s degree in photography and worked as an industrial photographer in Düsseldorf until she emigrated to New York in 1960. During her four years in New York City, Teiwes worked as a darkroom worker, an assistant photographer for Cartier Jewelers and as a transparency retoucher. She also continued to build her portfolio through free-lance work. In 1964, a trip to Mesa Verde inspired Teiwes to seek work in the Southwest. The same year she was hired by Dr. Emil Haury of the University of Arizona to photograph his excavation of Snaketown on the Gila River Indian Reservation. Following Snaketown, Teiwes was hired as a museum photographer for the Arizona State Museum (ASM) at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She was also sought after for other archaeological projects during the 1960s and 1970s to take publication and studio shots. During this time, Teiwes developed a deep interest in the people and cultures of the Southwest and spent a significant amount of time on reservations building personal relationships among the Hopi, Apache, Tohono O’dham and Diné (Navajo) among others. Teiwes took a particular interest in documenting Native artists and the work they produced, including basket weavers, potters, jewelers and carvers. Teiwes also worked to capture everyday life among the Native people of the Southwest in addition to documenting special events like the Apache coming of age ceremony and the Tohono O’odham Saguaro Cactus harvest. Teiwes retired from the Arizona State Museum in 1993 but continued to work as a freelance photographer and writer in Tuscon.
Throughout her career Teiwes’s photographs and essays were published nationally and internationally. Her photographic study
Navajo
was published by the Swiss publisher U. Bar Varlag in 1991 and published in English in 1993. Her books
Kachina Dolls: The Art of the Hopi Carvers
and
Hopi Basket Weaving: Artistry in Natural Fibers
were published by the University of Arizona Press in 1991 and 1996. From October 2003 to June 2004, the Arizona State Museum held an exhibition ns2:titled “With an Eye on Culture: The Photography of Helga Teiwes” highlighting the broad scope of her career. Selections of the online exhibition can be viewed here:
In 2013, Teiwes donated her collection of personal photographs, not taken for the Arizona State Museum, to the National Museum of the American Indian, Archive Center. Teiwes’s photographs taken for the Arizona State Museum are housed in the ASM’s photographic archives.

Administration
Processing Information note
Processed by Rachel Menyuk, Archives Technician in 2016.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Rachel Menyuk
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
This collection was donated by Helga Teiwes in 2013.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use note
Please contact the NMAI Archive Center (NMAIArchives@si.edu) regarding the use of this collection, donor restrictions apply.
Conditions Governing Access
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: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Preferred Citation note
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Helga Teiwes Photograph Collection, Box and Item Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Archival Materials note
There is a large collection of photographs at the where Teiwes worked from 1964-1993. These photographs include harvesting of mesquite, cholla, and saguaro; traditional farming of corn at Hopi and of tepary beans among the Tohono O'odham; and craftspeople and their art in basketry, katsina carving, pottery, and weaving.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Arizona State Museum. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gila River Indian Reservation (Ariz.). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Akimel O'odham (Pima) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Apache--San Carlos Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arizona Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Basket making--Hopi Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Basket making--Pima Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Changing Woman Ceremony (Apache rite) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cuzco (Peru) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diné (Navajo) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopi Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopi women--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Arizona--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--New Mexico--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America--Southwest--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Machu Picchu Site (Peru) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexico Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Navajo artists--Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Navajo Indians--Agriculture Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Navajo Indians--Social life and customs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Negatives (photographic) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New Mexico Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peru Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rarámuri (Tarahumara) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saguaro--Arizona Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tohono O'Odham Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland , Maryland, 20746-2863
Phone: 301.238.1400
nmaiarchives@si.edu