This photograph was purchased from the Estate of E.S. Randolph who was an Engineer on the construction of the Panama Canal in the 1930's. The photograph was taken by Fred McKim in 1936 during a reconnaissance of upper Bayanno River in Panama. The inscription, on the back, reads: Mr. McKim is the only white man that this woman's tribe had ever seen. She resisted all pleas to pose for a picture and is unaware that this one was taken.
9.5" H X 7.5" W
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I've not found any previous photos taken by Frederick McKim from this venture in Panama in the 1930s, though I did find a copy of his published findings being advertised in Germany, I believe (https://www.abebooks.com/San-Blas-account-Cuna-Indians-Panama/30913695903/bd).
Though there is a great market for photos of indigenous US tribes, particularly from the 19th Century, I have found very few examples of auction of 20th Century photos and examples of Central and South American cultures. For this reason, and without more convincing evidence to warrant a higher value, I've appraised this conservatively.
Based on the photos and information provided, and subject to examination, this is:
"Unidentified Cuna Woman"
Bayano River, Panama, dated 1936
possibly gelatin silver print
9-1/2 by 7-1/2 inches
CONDITION: appears to be in generally good condition
PROVENANCE: Estate of E.S. Randolph; subsequently acquired in a yard sale
*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary.
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