42 [Arizona] Roberts, M., Photographer.
Collection of Twelve Original Photographs,
Black & White (some copy prints), [ca. 1909].
(8) 8 x10s; (4) 5 x 7s. Condition generally very
good, housed in protective mylar and binder.
The photographer’s stamp is on the back of one
of the photographs: ‘Photographed by M.
Roberts, Hermosilla, Mexico.’ The Bancroft has a
collection of photographs by Roberts of
Hermosilla documenting the Yaquis which are
dated to around 1909, hence the date here. The Yaquis had a long history of persecution by Mexican government forces (also the U.S. Border Patrol; they have been accustomed to
moving between Sonora and Arizona, and there are Yaqui settlements in Arizona). The
Governor of Sonora at this time, Rafael Izabal, organized regular manhunts against the Yaquis from 1904 – 1909, which culminated in a total war against the tribe. The photographs show Mexican soldiers standing guard against the Indians and pictures of the Yaquis in their homes and settlements; the most dramatic show the hanging of a Yaqui from a tree, and show six male Yaquis being blindfolded with their arms tied behind their backs; the next shows the dead Yaquis on the ground posed with Mexican officials. These last are identified in pencil on the verso as Guaymas (on the Gulf of California).