National Museum of the American Indian

James C. Jones collection from Bolivia


Collection ID:
Jones, James C. (James Clyde), 1944-
This collection is in english and spanish.
Physical Description:
910 Slides (photographs)
2 Sound cassettes
This collection includes slides (photographic) and audio-cassettes created by James Jones during research trips to San Ingnacio de Moxos, Beni, Bolivia in 1977-1979 and 1988. Jones was conducting research to complete his dissertation in anthropology and photographed many indigenous Moxo (Mojo) community members he interviewed during the course of his research, as well as local festivals and agricultural activities.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
The James C. Jones collection includes photographic slides (35mm) and two audio-cassettes made by Jones in San Ignacios de Moxis, Beni, Bolivia in 1977-1979 and in 1988. The majority of the photographic slides in this collection were taken by Jones during his 1977-1979 research trip for his PhD dissertation. There are a small number of slides that were shot in 1988 on a return trip to Beni, Bolivia. The slides from 1977-1979 were shot in 25 rolls with 36 slides per roll. The majority of the photographs were shot in and near San Ignacio de Moxos in Beni, Bolivia an indigenous village in Norther Bolivia, though additional locations in Bolivia visited include Trinidad and La Paz. Jones interviewed around 70 local Moxo (Mojo) men and women in and near San Ignacio. During and in between interviews Jones shot photographs that documented daily life for his interviewees with a particular focus on agricultural activities such as farming and cooking. Many of the photographs include images of the Rivero family (Ignacito and Yolanda) with whom Jones stayed for extended periods of time. Jones also took a special interest in the many celebrations and festivals that occurred during his stay in Bolivia and took photographs of dancers, musicians and processions. He also shot many landscape views of the village, farms, "pampas," as well as aerial views of roads and rivers and close up images of the local flora and fauna.
The two audio-cassettes, recorded by Jones in 1977-1978, includes music played by local Moxo musicians during special occasions, such as Christmas, Independence Day as well as music played in the local church. There are also interviews with Juan Bautista Savala and Chaco war veteran Horacio Semani.


Arranged chronologically and by slide roll or sound-cassette.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
James C. Jones was born in Harlan, Kentucky in 1944. He graduated from University of Kentucky in 1966 with a B.A. in Science in Mathematics. Jones spent two years teaching math in Columbia (1969-1970) and developed an interest in Latin American studies while traveling around South America. Due to this interest, he pursued and received a Master's degree and later PhD in anthropology at the University of Florida. Jones first visited San Ignacio/Beni in 1976 for three months to define his topic for his PhD thesis with funding from the University of Florida's Tropical South American Program. He returned to Bolivia with funding from the Inter-American Foundation in 1977 (September) and stayed through the first quarter of 1979. Returning to Florida, Jones finished his dissertation in 1980 titled "Conflict between Whites and Indians on the Llanos de Moxos, Beni Department" (PhD diss., University of Florida, 1980).
After completing his degree, Jones left the field of anthropology and received a Master's degree in agricultural economics, entering the world of development for the next 15 years. During this time Jones worked on development and security issues across the globe. Jones resumed research on Bolivia in the late 1980's and 1990s and published an essay, "Development: Reflections from Bolivia" in the Society for Applied Anthropology's Human Organization, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp.111-120. Since then, Jones has worked as an independent contractor.


Rachel Menyuk and Mattie Lewis
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of James Jones, 2017.
Processing Information
Processed by Rachel Menyuk, Processing Archivist, in 2019 and Mattie Lewis, Contract Archivist in 2023.
Separated Materials
Jones took copious notes that describe that photographic and audio materials but these are still in the possession of Jones himself. The Archive Center has copies of these notes for reference purposes only.

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email:
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); James Jones collection from Bolivia, Item Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Moxo (Mojo) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bolivia Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of South America -- Bolivia Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) -- 1950-2000 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound cassette Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Applied anthropology Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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