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David Johnson Photographs

Call Number: MS209

Scope and Contents

This collection contains slides from David Johnson documenting his work with the culture and lives of the Orma people in Kenya.


  • Creation: 1990 -- 1999



This collection is open for research. This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

David Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Education from Syracuse University. He also holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and History from Syracuse University and in 2010 was awarded a doctorate degree in archaeology from the Engineering University of Peru. He is a National Geographic Research and Exploration Awardee for his work on the correlation between concentrated flows within the groundwater and the Nasca Lines. During the last 45 years, in addition to teaching, he has documented cultures, humanitarian and environmental crises throughout the world for international organizations such as the United Nations. He has lived with the Orma tribe and assisted them in preserving their traditional homeland along the Tana River of Kenya. The Orma asked Johnson to photograph and video their traditions before they were lost to modernization.

Johnson has also investigated archaeological sites throughout Peru and northern Chile, as well as throughout the United States. His investigation of the Nasca Lines / coastal geoglyphs of Peru determined the geoglyphs map the course of concentrated flows of groundwater. This research is discussed in detail in his book titled Beneath the Nasca Lines and Other Coastal Geoglyphs of Peru and Chile. He has also demonstrated similar stone features exist in the southwestern and northeastern United States. During the last several years he has been collaborating with Native American tribes in documenting and preserving their Ceremonial Stone Landscape.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection has been kept in received order.

Custodial History

Box 1 (a binder of slides) arrived with the Cultural Survival records as part of accession 2013.015. The slides are from David Johnson's work documenting the culture and lives of the Orma people in Kenya. After determining that these slides were likely not related to a Cultural Survival project, Tim Walsh (Archives Assistant) and Susanne Belovari (Archivist for Reference and Collections) reached out to David Johnson on December 3, 2013. Continued correspondence led to David Johnson giving DCA rights to "archive and use these images as you wish, or they will be lost forever." Reflecting the unique provenance and subject matter of this material, a new collection was created.

Processing status

This collection is minimally processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States