Archives On The Air 188: A Well Wandered Woman: Aloha Wanderwell—Walter Baker Papers

Jun 4, 2020

Aloha Wanderwell was an adventurer. In 1922 at age 16, she joined an expedition traveling around the world by Model-T Ford.

The trip's leader was Captain Walter Wanderwell. Walter and Aloha later married.

The couple made a career of leading competing teams on world tours. They filmed their adventures and screened them for audiences.

In 1930, the couple's plane crashed in the Amazon. Aloha stayed with the Bororo tribe while Walter trekked through the jungle to buy replacement parts. She documented the tribe during her six-week stay. The resulting film became an important anthropological resource.

Aloha Wanderwell feeding kangaroos, circa 1936. Box 1, Walter Nicholas Baker papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.
Credit American Heritage Center

Tragedy struck when Walter was murdered on the couple's yacht in 1932, a crime that remains unsolved. Aloha married another Walter - Walter Baker - and continued her travels.

Find out more in Walter Baker's papers at UW's American Heritage Center.