In the 1930s, a party led by Professor W. C. Holden led these investigations into the Yaqui Native American tribes of Sonora, Mexico, revealing much about their culture and characteristics.
Noting a relative absence of Yaqui studies in Native American ethnology, Professor Holden sought to fund an expedition to their lands from Texas. The-then ensuing Great Depression meant obtaining funds necessary for travel and study was difficult; requisite monies took time and effort to acquire. In spite of this adversity, Holden and his companions produced fruitful researches, cataloguing in detail the lifestyle, marital customs, religious observances, manner of dress, and homemade handicrafts of the Yaqui tribes people. Furthermore, the descriptions are accompanied by numerous photographs and illustrations, with a lengthy anthropological study of the Yaqui’s physical characteristics also present.
William Holden worked as a researcher and professor with the Texas Technological College. Affiliated with his workplace for most of his lifetime, Holden’s activities form a notable portion of the campus museum, which he helped establish. After retiring in 1970, he remained an active supporter and fundraiser for the college, successfully building a row of low-cost houses on the campus for students.