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From Photo Repatriation to Totem Pole Rematriation

May 10 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

A headshot of an indigenous woman wearing a straw hat with face jewelry

From Photo Repatriation to Totem Pole Rematriation: Developing the Work of Tsimshian Photographer B.A. Haldane through Community-Based Research

⭐️ Presented by the Department of Native American Studies and Gorman Museum of Native American Art
⭐️ Sponsored by the College of Letters and Science, Department of Native American Studies and Mellon Foundation

This discussion highlights the main developments of a twenty-year research project focused on the images produced by 19th Century photographer B.A. (Benjamin Alfred) Haldane. B.A. (1874-1941) was proud member of the Laxgyibuu (wolf clan) of the Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska. One of the earliest professional Indigenous photographers in North America, he opened a Victorian-style studio in Metlakatla in 1899 where he created portraits of Tsimshian, Tlingit, and Haida people and families. A versatile and gifted musician and band director, he also travelled to their communities throughout Southeast Alaska and Northern British Columbia to take photographs and teach music. Few of his photographs survived in Metlakatla as they were collected and incorporated into the host of anonymously produced images in archives across North America. Starting in 2004, my community-based research of B.A.’s photography reattributed his work and repatriated to his images to our community and his family through exhibition, digital prints, and most importantly through our song, dance, and ceremony. The most recent develops in this research is the possible rematriation–returning back to our matrilineal community–of totem poles that are currently in museums in Geneva Switzerland and Washington, DC on the basis of B.A.’s photographs.

This event is open to the public, all students, staff and faculty with an interest in Native American art, history and activism.

More information: https://diversity.ucdavis.edu/events/photo-repatriation-totem-pole-rematriation-0


May 10
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Gorman Museum of Native American Art
181 Old Davis Rd
Davis, CA 95616 United States
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