National Museum of the American Indian

Arne Arbin photographs from Panama


Collection ID:
Arbin, Arne
circa 1933
Physical Description:
44 Photographs
0.07 Linear feet
This collection contains 44 photographs depicting Emberá (Choikoi) peoples in Panama circa 1933.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
This collection contains 36 photographs and 8 copy negatives shot by Arne Arbin circa 1933. The photographs depict the Emberá (Choikoi) peoples living along the tributaries of Sambú River in eastern Panama. In historical literature the Emberá people were known as Chokó Indians. The photographs include portraits of individuals and families, as well as scenes of daily life such as grinding corn and traveling via canoes, among other scenes. The photographs include handwritten captions on the versos.


Arranged by catalog number.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Relatively little is known about Arne Arbin. He was born in Sweden and conducted expeditions throughout the western hemisphere.


Emily Moazami
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in 1933 by Arne Arbin.
Processing Information
Collection record written by Emily Moazami in 2019.

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:
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Arne Arbin photographs from Panama, Item Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
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 users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, 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.

Related Materials
The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology holds object collected by Arne Arbin during his research expeditions in Panama. They also hold a report written by Arbin describing the expedition.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Emberá (Choikoi) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panama Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of Central America -- Panama Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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