One of my favorite male regalia headdress styles. Called roaches for some reason, they’re made of deer fur and porcupine guard hair (but not the sharp quills). Again, probably because I’ve watched too many old westerns, these have a very aggressive look to them.
Just another face in the crowd.
A number of the shots I took at the pow wow showed a blur of movement across most of the image due to a shutter speed that was long enough to not be able to freeze the action due to the rapid movement of the dancers. Yet in a surprisingly large percentage of those, one dancer’s face comes through quite sharp amidst all the movement.
A key component to a pow wow is of course the drummers and singers. Like this guy, they do not generally wear regalia, rather they dress in regular street clothes. We were standing about twenty feet from this particular circle of drummers and the sound they were putting out was impressively loud; I think my chest was actually noticeably compressing with the low bass vibrations put out by the drum. It’s hard to figure how this woman and her child could sit so passively right next to them. (The young girl may have her fingers in her ear. If so I guess that’s a reaction.)
I took this photo primarily because of the cute young jingle dancer, but it also shows some women wearing elk tooth dresses (in the right rear of the photo), another of my favorites. Elk teeth are very highly prized and hard to come by as each elk only has two ivory teeth. Because of the supply-demand mismatch, even in the old days there were imitation elk teeth carved from bone. Today bone teeth are still produced and of course there are plastic ones as well. Real or imitation I think the dresses look very elegant. (Look at me talking like the Fashion Queen here!)
This particular group of dancers are wearing one of my favorite styles of outfits. (I’m sure they have a name but I don’t know what it is.) They are just entering the arena, only started to pick up their feet to dance. The numbers on the dancers are to identify them for competition purposes I presume, although I don’t believe there was a competition aspect to the Grand Entry.
Like this image, the rest of this series are going to be monochrome. While the colors of the regalia is certainly not to be ignored at these events I still think the patterns and shapes, which are of even greater interest to me, are better emphasized by presenting them without the distraction of color.
I don’t usually tint my monochrome images this much but I wanted to give this series a bit more of a vintage feel commensurate with the historic aspects of the dances and the regalia. Because it is a historic effect I was after I chose to use the same toning colors as the famous Edward Curtis Indian photographs. Tints of his photos vary quite a bit, at least in their internet presentations. I chose to copy the color from this particular image of an Indian named One Blue Beard:
Some really interesting photos by Mr. ParkeHarrison (yes, that’s the correct punctuation) can be seen here. I find them a bit disturbing, but in a really engaging way.
One of the more sedate categories of dancers at the pow wow was the jingle dancers. Their dance moves are limited mostly to footwork and and lot of the dancers don’t get much more active than you see on the left side of this photo. But when they come out as a group the collective sound of all the little bells on the women’s dresses is very pleasing, a sound that at least when you’re down on the floor right next to them can be heard even over the high volume drums and singing.
You can see an example of the drums and singing at the pow wow this year here. Some footage of the jingle dancers (during the actual competition, not the grand entry which I was photographing) can be see here. (Because they were competing against each other and because they’re younger, these jingle dancers are much more lively than the norm I think.)
The Denver art show I referred to in my last post is the Downtown Denver Arts Festival. It will be held May 22-24 on the grounds of the Denver Performing Arts Center. The hours are Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. More information on the activities can be found here. (Admission is free by the way.) If you live in or are going to be in the area, stop by and say hello.
Every year I sell several hundred greeting cards featuring my photos at the summer outdoor art festivals that I participate in. They’re not a huge moneymaker but I like to have something priced at a point that anyone interested in my work can afford. Some photographers have their cards and even their larger images printed commercially. I prefer to print them all, from small to large, myself. So everything I sell from the largest framed prints on down to the greeting cards is my own work.)
My first show this year is in May in Denver so I’ve been busy the last few weeks getting ready, not only with cards, but the larger works as well. This year I decided to print out all the cards I thought I’d need for the whole summer at one time rather than print them in batches as the season progresses. I just finished the printing. The photo below shows about two-thirds of them set out on every available flat surface in my studio to dry. There’s still the folding and inserting into display bags left to do, but that’s something I can do while I’m sitting around in front of the TV.