Robert Brainerd Ekvall and Betty Ekvall photographs of Tibet, China, and Vietnam, circa 1925-1940

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.PhotoLot.2003-12
Creators:
Ekvall, Robert B. (Robert Brainerd), 1898-1983
Dates:
circa 1925-1940
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
146 color slides
circa
Repository:

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Photographs made by Robert Brainerd Ekvall and Betty Ekvall while missionaries on the China-Tibet border. The photographs document Tibetan, Chinese, and Vietnamese people, ceremonies, dances and musicians, shrines, traders, boats, towns, agriculture, and scenery. The collection also includes images of the Ekvalls and other missionaries and a map of Gansu province from the Christian and Missionary Alliance newsletter.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Robert Brainerd Ekvall (1898-1978) and Betty Ekvall were missionaries for the Christian and Missionary Alliance in the Tibetan Plateau on the China-Tibet border. Robert Ekvall was born in Gangsu province, China, to parents who were among the first Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries in Tibet. After his father's death, Ekvall returned to the United States with his mother. He attended Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College, graduating in 1920. In 1921, Ekvall married fellow Wheaton alumnus Martha Elizabeth Fischer (commonly known as Betty) and both attended the Nyack Missionary Institute. The next year they left for China, where Robert taught at the Bible school. They also traveled into Tibet to establish a mission station in Ngawa. In 1927, the Ekvalls returned to the United States due to political turmoil in China, though they went back to China the following year. On another furlough in the U.S., Robert Ekvall did some graduate work in anthropology at the University Chicago. The Ekvalls returned to Tibet, where Betty Ekvall died of illness in 1940. In 1941, Robert Ekvall traveled to Indochina where their son, David, was doing missionary work; he was repatriated to the United States in 1944 and joined the United States Army in Burma and China. He later published books, articles, and poems on Tibet and China, and taught at the University of Washington.

Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot 2003-12

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation note
Photo Lot 2003-12, Robert Brainerd Ekvall and Betty Ekvall photographs of Tibet and Indochina, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
The Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College holds the oral history interviews, correspondence, photographs, and a manuscript by Ekvall (CN 092).
Location of Other Archival Materials
The Newark Museum holds some Tibetan material from Ekvall.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
Donated by Elizabeth S. Schober, Betty Ekvall's niece, and transferred to the archives by Schober's daughter Candace Greene, Department of Anthropology, in 2002.

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
Inventories, probably made by available in repository.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Vietnamese Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chinese Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tibetans Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color slides Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vietnam Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tibet (China) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gansu Sheng (China) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christian and Missionary Alliance Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ekvall, Betty (probable photographer) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/