A 1930's photograph of a Cuna Indian Woman of Panama.

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

Acquired From:

Garage / Yard Sale

Do you have a similar item and want to know how much it's worth?

Find out with a quick and affordable online appraisal from a Mearto specialist.

Mearto's online appraisal:


Mearto specialist

June 3, 2024
Fair Market Value:

Hi Ralph, Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry. 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: Frederick McKim "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 $ 200-300* *represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary. Please let us know if you have additional items to appraise, or questions/concerns, and thank you again for using Mearto. ~ Delia