My former archivist colleagues were charged with the task of scrubbing the Archives Image Database. Out of their own genuine love for the collection (and not due to a lack of work, mind you) they created a tag category called “cute.” This has made my job of finding Fun Friday Images pretty easy (and fun). I came across this adorable photo that had a scant caption indicating “George Rawls” and “Tari, the Bororo Boy,” but not much else. A google search came up with a listing for George in IMDB in a 1941 documentary about the 1931 expedition to Mato Grosso, Brazil. The plot was condensed into this cursory statement: “An expedition heads out for the Mato Grosso jungles in Brazil to find and study the primitive tribesmen who live there.”
The “primitive tribesman” refers to the Bororo people. I then searched our archival film collection on archive.org which sure enough turned up the full documentary that confirmed the air of colonial exoticism that I sensed about this still photo.
In the 18-minute film, the voice-of-god narrator describes a scene that makes you wonder if he’s watching a different movie altogether.
Skip to minute 14:00 to see the other faces Tari makes as he is told to pose on George’s lap for this publicity shot: