This is the most endearing Mr. Boas. What is he doing? Demonstrating the effects of long-term ethnography? No, Bree. Of course not.
According to ‘Material World‘ Boas had taken photographs of posed dancers and ceremonial orators but none of the Hamat’sa phase that he chose to depict. In order to ensure the gestural accuracy he offered to pose for a museum photographer himself – posing each ceremonial player: seated drummers, standing dance attendants, and crouching initiate. Yes, this image is part of a set. You should see them – they are so wonderful.