National Anthropological Archives

Ruth Leah Bunzel photographs of Quiche peoples of Guatemala, 1930-1932

Collection ID:
Bunzel, Ruth Leah, 1898-1990
Physical Description:
49 Prints
silver gelatin
110 Negatives

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Photographs probably made by Ruth Bunzel during her fieldwork among the Quiche in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, in 1930-32. Images include Quiche individuals and families, a church (probably the Church of Santo Tomás), a procession and ceremony, and landscapes.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Ruth Leah Bunzel (1898-1990) started a career in anthropology after acquiring a secretarial job with Franz Boas at Columbia University in 1922. With support from Boas, Bunzel regularly traveled to the Southwest to study Zuni potters from 1924-1929. Studying under Boaz, she earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1929. Her papers on Zuni ceremonialism as well as creation myths, kachinas, and poetry were published in the 47th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. From 1930 to 1932 she studied the Highland Mayan village of Chichicastenango and later published Chichicastenango, A Guatemalan Village (1952). She also conducted fieldwork in the village of Chamula in Chiapas, Mexico, and published a comparative study of the two villages entitled "The Role of Alcoholism in Two Central American Communities" (1940).

Sarah Ganderup
Custodial History note
Photographs found in Bunzel's home on Perry Street in Greenwich Village, NY, after her death. Donated by Arnold Finkelstein, 2007.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing.
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation note
Photo Lot 2007-10, Ruth Leah Bunzel photographs of Quiche peoples of Guatemala, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
The National Anthropological Archives holds the Ruth Lean Bunzel papers and drawings of Kachinas collected by Bunzel (MS 4609).
Location of Other Archival Materials
Correspondence between Bunzel and the BAE held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4846 and records of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Location of Other Archival Materials
A photograph of Bunzel held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 92-35.
Location of Other Archival Materials
A video oral history of Bunzel, created as part of the "History of Anthropology Series" produced by the University of Florida's Department of Anthropology, is held in the Human Studies Film Archive in HSFA 89.10.8.

More Information
Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot 2007-10

Addl. KW Subj
Addl. KW Subj

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Quiché Maya (Quiche) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guatemala Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746