Abstract Art

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Nobody does abstract art like Mother Nature. Walking through Upper Antelope canyon is a spectacular event in itself and it is only made better by experiencing a view like this. This is not a static view. Moments later there wasn’t a trace of this combination of light and dark and all the shades in between, left. The shapes stay the same, this is about as close to eternal as you’re going to come in the natural world, but the light filtering in from the ceiling above and its intensity that allowed it to bounce and reflect from wall to wall, ceiling to floor and back again, compounded the layers of color until this particular moment in time was formed.

This isn’t an image the photographer created by causing any of this to happen. This is just a reaction to the sudden creation of an incredible moment and having the common sense to push the shutter while nearly blinded by beauty. Contrary to what you may have heard I can do common sense and this may be one of my finest examples. I need to be immersed in wonder like this as often as possible. And to share it with you.

Into The Sun

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I don’t know what’s happening around your house but here at the Institute the weather is changing. The other day I went out to make the rounds of the compound and chase the flickers off the side of the our main building and was suddenly struck with the fact that it smelled different. Not different like a teenagers room but different like you could almost smell the, and I’m going to have to speak very frankly here using language that may leave some of the more delicate among you lying on the floor gasping for air, “SNOW” in the air. I’m only going to use the ‘S’ word once here for fear of putting it in the minds of the weather gods and speeding up the process even more.

We’re not done with Summer yet. It’s only the end of August. Yeah I know all about the season’s change and it’s getting near Labor day and all that crap. I don’t care. It was cold the other morning and it seemed like it could do the white wet deed on us any time it felt like it. That’s not fair. I want to know why we pay all this money for taxes to send those phony-baloney congress people to Washington if they can’t do a simple thing like give us enough summer. They can change time whenever they feel like it, taking an hour here, giving it back there, why can’t they extend summer, like another month. I mean, I’d vote for a guy like that, even if he was a crooked, lying, womanizer from Arkansas, with a mean wife.

The Sandhill crane above feels the same way. Just the other day he was stuffing his gizzard with corn from  the farmer’s field and now the water is getting cold, the days are shorter and he has to make a thousand mile flight somewhere just to stay warm. He is plenty cheesed off about it I can tell you. Normally he would laze around in the pond for a couple extra hours in the morning, just kicking back, taking life easy, hanging with his friends, letting the warm water flow all around his three toes, now everybody is up at the crack of dawn running around in the water, waiting for the sun to come up so they can get flying and warm up.

That red spot on his head we’ve discovered, is actually a solar collector and by the crane pointing it into the sun it warms the blood flowing through it and sends it down to his feet and the rest of his body so he can stand in that frigid water. In the late fall and winter there’s less sun so less warmth, so his blood gets cold , his wife gets irritable, and the next thing you know he and Margaret are flying off to the sunny shores of South America or wherever, where they don’t have Fall or the ‘S’ word. This exclusive bit of knowledge is the result of one of our many grants going right for once. This one was titled “Why are some tall birds red on the head? Is this Nature’s way of singling them out or simply a fashion statement?” That one was worth 2.9 mil in grant money. See why we do this? This is encouraging to us here at The Institute and we intend to file many more.

But there’s a lesson here people, and I think it is ‘get on your elected representative’s butt’ and let him know we’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore. Since term limits don’t scare them anymore use words like impeachment, or no more donations, that’ll get their attention. Otherwise we all better start learning Spanish if we don’t want to stay here freezing our keesters off. Know what I mean?

P.S. I don’t want a bunch of letters from you eleven people that like winter and snow and cold. I don’t care if you like to ski, or tramp around in the snow with stuff freezing  on the end of your nose. I don’t care if it’s pretty or you like to catch dull-normal fish through a hole in the ice. I don’t care if you like to lick snow off the sides of trees. This is an aberration and you should seek medical help as soon as you can, or at least move to Northern Wisconsin where this is considered normal activity. But don’t waste our time by trying to sell us on the merits of the wonders of winter. The rest of us are trying to book flights out of here.

2014 Crow Nation Fair and Rodeo Day 6 Closing Ceremonies

This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!

The closing ceremonies are both spiritual and celebratory. They give thanks for the previous years and ask for blessings and good fortunes for the upcoming one. This is a sacred, integral part of the entire gathering that has just taken place over the last week, and is the most important ceremony they conduct over the entire weeks gathering. The day starts out with a procession that goes to the four corners of the camp and performs a ceremony at each point, which consists of solemn ceremonies, drumming, dancing, and singing. This process takes most of the day as they move from one spot to another in procession and repeat the entire ceremony at each place.

Since the ceremony is involved and complex with each part full of meaning and purpose I will just present the outward appearance of it as shown by the images made through out the days activities. After a full day of proceeding throughout the camp they ultimately wind up at the Arbor for the final closing ceremony. The dancing and singing go on well into the night, then it’s over. The camp is torn down, the lodges packed away and the people return to their homes to await next years festivities.

 

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The procession is brought to the place where the ceremony will be performed led by a revered elder on horseback.

 

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All of the participants are following in a line and will form the circle when all are in place.

 

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The pipe is brought out for its part of the ceremony

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The men wait to begin the dancing. Everyone is quiet, listening to what is being said. This is  a solemn occasion and is treated with the utmost respect by all.

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The drummers begin and the singing commences.

 

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The men start to dance. Some of these participants will dance for seven to eight hours today.

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The circle is traveled many times during each ceremony.

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Elders and young alike participate.

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Women take an equal part in the ceremonies. This is a very spiritual time and it often has an effect on the participants.

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Many of the participants are moved by the proceedings. It is hot this afternoon and the clothes the women wear are heavy. They will stay out with the rest of the participants until everyone reaches the Arbor at the end of the day.

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This is a joyous event as well as a solemn one and during breaks in the ceremony there is time for laughter and love.

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Everyone is wearing their finest today. What you see is a continual display of pride in their culture and themselves.

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Women waiting for the next part of the ceremony to begin. All ages are represented here.

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The fans they carry are more than decorative. Besides being used to cool themselves it is the perfect sunshade. The temperature is in the high 90’s today and that beautiful buckskin dress is warm.

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Taking a moment between dances.

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These dancers seem tireless. After a few moments rest they will be back dancing again.

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The ceremony is over at this location and they head off under the guidance of one of the elders on horseback to perform it again at the next location on the other side of the camp.

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Part of the ritual is waving to the others as they leave for the next location to continue the ceremony.

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The women wave as they leave. This is not done as a continual exercise where they wave constantly, but is part of the traveling routine. After so many drum beats they will repeat the gesture with a loud call of leave-taking and continue on their way. This is repeated until they get to the next destination.

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The drummers en route to the next place of worship.

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There are many of displays of happiness and joy as this part of the ceremony is completed

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There is also determination.

 

The ceremony has concluded out in the camp and now everyone has assembled at the Arbor for the evenings’ ending ceremonies.

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The pipe is used by the drummers to purify themselves and prepare for the events to come.

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The pipe is returned to the elders who carry it.

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The circle begins again. This has special meaning as it is the last dance of the gathering. It is a bittersweet moment as they celebrate the past year and dance in pure appreciation of the year to come and of who they are. This is the Crow Nation at one of its finest moments.

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The dancing tonight is more subdued than other times. These women graciously enter the circle.

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As always there is color everywhere.

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As the evening winds down the dancing is watched by older eyes. He has seen many of these ceremonies. There is calm recognition of what has taken place over the last week and he see past the excitement of the moment. He sees the circle continuing as it has for all the many years gone by.

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This young member is learning what it means to be a Crow. He studies every movement and sound intently as if he knows that before long this event will be in his hands, and he will be one of the leaders that he studies so intently right now. The circle is still open and there is room for him to join it and he shall. Watch closely young man the future needs you.

2014 Crow Nation Fair and Rodeo Day 5 The Camp

This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!

This is a brief look at the camp. It isn’t every day one gets the opportunity to explore a gathering of over a thousand teepees and the people who occupy  them. As dawn broke and the sun started its journey through the sky it was still very quiet. After a night where dancing and singing lasted into the early morning hours everyone was still asleep. Occasionally you could hear the nickering of a horse tied near one of the lodges and soon the answering call from another across the camp. There was an absence of camp dogs, although some people had brought pets there didn’t seem to be any free ranging dogs running about the camp to raise the alarm that there was a stranger among them.

The images selected below are from dawn through mid-day and into the evening. The camp stretched for nearly three miles along the Little Bighorn river. Some of the lodges were set up very near each other forming a densely packed small town near the very center of the camp. This is where the Arbor is and where all the festivities took place, the dancing and the singing, the presentation of honors and any other important event, and was central to all the festivities. As you walked through the camp the lodges began to be spaced wider apart where small family groups set their teepees up together, and as you got farther away from the center of the camp you would find the occasional single lodge set up amongst the trees or out into the grasslands surrounding the camp.

 

CrowCamp2918The sun is just beginning its daily voyage and as it rises it begins to illuminate the lodges. It is very quiet and still now. My foot steps are the loudest noise you hear and I’m trying to be very quiet.

 

CrowCamp3000                               It’s about 5:30 in the morning and the birds are just waking up. You can hear the horses shuffling about. They know the day has started.

 

 

CrowCamp2921Those with stock penned near their lodges have already been up and started the feeding.

 

CrowCamp2930                             Still and quiet these horsed are taking the opportunity to relax. It’s going to a busy day.

 

 

CrowCamp4491Always walk facing the traffic. There were several ponies roaming free around the camp. At least as long as the kids were still in bed. As soon as the kids  were up these ponies would be commandeered by any of them that could catch them and ridden all day long.

 

CrowCamp2953                                   Prairie grass and teepees. With all the people here and the constant coming and going you would think you wouldn’t find any grass still standing but the areas around the lodges and the camp in general were surrounded by the natural state of things. Maybe after a summer here things would look different but right now the effects of the camp were minimal.

 

CrowCamp2943It’s getting on towards mid-morning. The sun is rising higher in the sky and it is starting to warm up.

 

CrowCamp3054t                             One of the outlying lodges is highlighted by the sun. Their horses are tethered in the high grass which was belly high. They are sleek, beautiful looking animals.

 

CrowCamp2970These are larger than normal lodges for families and gatherings of many people. There is a method to setting these lodges up. I was given a class by a wonderful family on how a teepee was erected. Every step has meaning and purpose but is rooted in practicality. These lodges can be set up in a very short period of time and taken down  just as fast.

 

CrowCamp4495As you get further away from the camp center the teepees are set up for easy access. There are lanes and even small roads created by the placement of the lodges. The closeness of the lodges to each other usually means there is a family group or close friends staying here. Then there will be a space and the next family sets up. It all seems to work very well.

 

CrowCamp3524Late morning and near noon. Those living further out from the camp center have started getting ready for the afternoons dancing and are traveling towards the Arbor to begin the gathering.

 

CrowCamp3576A family in full regalia. If it weren’t for the pickups and cars in the background what year would this be.

 

CrowCamp4529                                  I was invited into this courtyard to see part of the dance regalia being preparing for the afternoons festivities. The young man explaining its purpose to me was nervous as this was his first time dancing at an event like this. He wanted everything perfect.

 

CrowCamp4459One of the outlying camps. there were many of these wall tents used along  with the teepees. Perhaps these were liberated from the soldiers they fought in the old days.

 

CrowCamp4508t                             This is a selfie. The Bokeh Maru refused to start unless I took her picture and promised I’d include it in the posting. She is so vain.

 

CrowCamp3665Mid-afternoon. It’s hot now, in the high 90’s and it feels good to ride fast and let the wind blow through your hair.

 

CrowCamp4468Half the kids in camp were spending the afternoon swimming and playing in the Little Bighorn. This long easy bend made a perfect swimming hole. Every once in a while the older kids would ride their horses through the water scattering the others like leaves being blown by the wind. Out of frame there were several adults sitting up on the bank in the shade, supervising the activities.

 

CrowCamp3585This is an overview of the camp taken from a small knoll that was the highest point around the camp. You can see how far the camp stretches. About two miles or so from the left side of the picture is the site of the Battlefield of the Little Bighorn monument and immediately to the right of the image is the town of Crow Agency, Montana. Down through all the cottonwoods flows the Little Bighorn. This must have been similar to the sight the members of the 7th had that bad day very long ago.

 

CrowCamp3605This is the countryside just a short way East from the camp. You can see clear into the last century if you look close enough.

 

CrowCamp4539Very few of the lodges were decorated but when they were they were striking. Behind the lodges is the knoll where you can see the entire encampment spread out below. The Bokeh Maru was hesitant to make the climb up to it but when I brought the word ‘shame’ into the conversation she immediately made the ascent and then acted like “What was the big deal? No problem.”

 

CrowCamp4542Late afternoon and the shadows are beginning to creep into this camp. There are horses tied to the left of the tent and they’re whickering, wondering why they weren’t at the center of things.

CrowCamp4930                                 It is very nearly night now. The sun is heading down to the horizon and darkness is about to overtake the camp once again. There are no streetlights in an Indian camp so you need to fire up your night vision if you’re going to get around. I noticed many of the residents utilized flashlights to augment their night vision but of course I had left mine in the Bokeh Maru and she was several miles away. But then by depending on the kindness of strangers I was able to get back to the center of camp and soon the comforting 12 volt lights of the Bokeh Maru.

 

CrowCamp2899tIt is full night now and darkness is complete. The sun is gone for the day and there isn’t the hint of a moon. The lodges are being lit by the glow of  campfires and in some cases the hissing and flickering of a Coleman lantern. You can hear quiet conversations being spoken, some of which were in the people’s native tongue. You couldn’t understand what was being said but it seemed normal and right to hear it. In the background was the constant beating of the drums  and some of the high-pitched singing coming from the Arbor. It was an eerie and alien sound at first, especially in the inky blackness of the night, but as you adapted to its cadence it soon became the only background sound that should be here. As you looked about and saw the lodge poles silhouetted against the dark sky and saw the comforting yellow light against the lodges this all seemed perfect. There was no music being played from a radio or TV, just the sound of their culture resonating through the camp. It was the only soundtrack that was needed.

 

 

2014 Crow Nation Fair and Rodeo Day 4 Dancing and Ceremonies

This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!

It seemed like there was always dancing going on somewhere in the camp. At night they had huge dances in the arbor, which has grand stands so spectators can sit and watch. Each gathering had opening ceremonies with the presentation of the flag and any other ceremony that had to take place. Sometimes it would be smoking the pipe, or a prayer, or just an announcement of some kind. Everyone who was going to dance would gather in a circle and quietly wait until it was time to start the dance. Then the drumming and singing would commence and the dancers would slowly circle the arbor as they began the nights activities.

As you can see in the pictures everyone took the dancing very seriously. It wasn’t a time for fooling around or acting inappropriately. Yet I always felt that there was a joyousness under the serious faces. There certainly was pride. The dancing began around sundown and lasted deep into the night. I shot until I couldn’t squeeze anymore light out of the scene and reluctantly had to stop for the night.

I’m going to let the images speak for themselves as there is little I could say that would embellish their regalia or performance so just enjoy the pictures and perhaps you will be able to hear the drumming and singing in the background.

 

CrowDance2549Presenting the colors and the flags

 

CrowDance2523Listening to the opening ceremony

 

CrowDance2517Listening to the opening ceremony

 

CrowDance2626The  dancing starts

 

CrowDance2503Drummers played steadily into the night, their voices never seemed to get hoarse.

 

CrowDance2670                           Young and old danced together

 

CrowDance2678                        Singing as he dances

 

CrowDance2524Sitting one out

 

CrowDance2542Portrait of a young man

 

CrowDance2593                          Every color imaginable is used.

 

CrowDance2574Pensive

 

CrowDance2585                        Portrait of a young boy

 

CrowDance2708     Putting everything into it

 

CrowDance2685         This warriors regalia was my favorite

 

CrowDance2598Many seasons experience

 

CrowDance2642Preparing to dance

 

CrowDance2730                           Entering the circle

 

CrowDance2717                            This warrior’s regalia was my second favorite choice.

 

CrowDance2783                         Elders completing the circle

 

CrowDance2779Adjustments are made

 

CrowDance2799                          Every step is important

 

CrowDance2808Waiting for their turn

 

CrowDance2876                             The young learn by watching

 

CrowDance2749If it weren’t for the power lines this could be 1865

 

CrowDance2513                     Admirers

 

CrowDance2641                                     Dancers posing for a family photo

When it got to dark to see out on the field it was time to call it a night. Tomorrow would bring new sights and sounds and it was just a few hours away.

2014 Crow Nation Fair and Rodeo Day 3 Rodeo

This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!

The rodeo at the Crow Fair is much like any other rodeo but for some reason it felt like a lot more fun. When it started I didn’t realize it was going to go on for nearly 7 hours but it did. Had I known that I might have thought this isn’t going to be as much fun as I thought, but it was. This rodeo, although professional in every respect, seemed more like a bunch of people you know getting together and having fun doing extraordinary things. The talent was top-notch. The rodeo stock was great, and even though it was in the high 90’s that afternoon everyone was in the best spirits and ready for a good time.

I’ve chosen a few pictures from each event to show you. That was because I took nearly a thousand images of this rodeo. I know that interested as you are, your eyes would soon begin to glaze over and there’d you go, back-asswards right out of your chair. So in the interest of safety I’ve pared it down considerably. As always click on any image to see it larger.  Enjoy

Opening Ceremonies Presenting the flag 

 

CrowRodeo36932014 Rodeo Queen presenting the flag at the opening ceremonies.

Bareback Bronc Riding

CrowRodeo3779You get a strap to hang onto and permission from the horse to enter the arena.

 

CrowRodeo3737The horse is often particular about who rides it.

 

CrowRodeo3797Here the horse is celebrating. Horse 1 cowboy 0.

Relay Race

CrowRodeo3798Probably the most popular event at the rodeo. Chaos reigns as riders run to mount their horses and take off for the first lap.

 

CrowRodeo3807First on first out.

 

CrowRodeo3815Horse holders waiting for their team rider to arrive and switch horses.

 

CrowRodeo3829The winner by a hat. Crowd goes wild. Losers vow it’ll be different next year.

Calf Roping

CrowRodeo3880Perfect cast. Calf is about to be caught, thrown, tied and released. Rider takes home a paycheck.

Saddle Bronc Riding

CrowRodeo3935This is very much like bareback bronc riding except there is a saddle involved. A lot more cowboys rode their horses to the buzzer than the bareback bronc guys did. They seemed to look better doing it too.

 

CrowRodeo4001Many of the horses have developed their own style of bucking. Raise your tail high but keep your front feet on the ground. The horse got more points for style than the rider did.

 

CrowRodeo4058Sometimes horses decide to say “Hell no, I won’t go.” This one eventually did. And then threw that guy right in the dirt.

 

CrowRodeo4019This is the Catch and Release program used throughout the rodeo. This is done so that the horse can be caught and used again. It is illegal not to use Catch and Release in most rodeos. These animals are too expensive not to recycle them.

 

CrowRodeo3914This is what makes the horses buck. It’s called a bucking strap. It is not used on the cowboys. This is used because these horses are so gentle and docile at all times they wouldn’t buck if you paid them. That is why they have names like HellBitch, JaneFonda, ManKiller, and Ed. You can see it in use in the pictures above.

 

Steer Wrestling

 

CrowRodeo4104This is the big mans sport. The cowboy has to be roughly the size of the steer to compete. There is a sign near the gate that has a steer painted on it and the cowboy must be able to cover most of the steer with his body or they won’t let him use a horse. In fact they won’t let him complete. He is told to go spend some time at McD’s and then comeback.

 

CrowRodeo4099Here the cowboy is convincing the steer to lie down awhile. This is very much like MMA cage fighting but with no hitting.

 

CrowRodeo4133This sport is one of constant innovation and many new experimental techniques are tried out. This is one is called “one-handed steer wrestling”. It didn’t work.

 

Barrel Racing

CrowRodeo4217This is a cool event. Pretty girls, pretty horses, custom-made barrels, and plenty of speed.

 

Bull Riding and Separation Anxiety, first Successful Bull Riding

 

CrowRodeo4384Bull riding is one of the more relaxing events at the rodeo. They match up gentle cowboys and friendly bulls with good dispositions and get them to ride each other. The best and most desired outcome is the cowboy riding the bull for 8 seconds, then thanking him for the experience and carefully dismounting. If he is unsuccessful the bull gets to try and ride him for 8 seconds. Hopefully both participants enjoyed the experience equally. Above is the proper way to ride a bull.

 

CrowRodeo4298The excitement begins as soon as the other cowboys, who don’t have to ride a bull today, gleefully pull open the chute door..

 

CrowRodeo4260Always careful of their image, this bull takes a moment to ask the cowboy in the blue shirt how he’s doing.

 

CrowRodeo4318This is another pair that have worked out the problems of the next 8 seconds. The bull gets to kick his feet in the dirt a lot and the cowboy doesn’t call him names. It’s a win-win situation for both of them. The cowboy is wearing a helmet because the last time he rode this bull they hadn’t spent any bonding time together and the bull threw him through the chute door.

 

Then we sometimes have periods of Separation Anxiety

 

CrowRodeo4290Unfortunately there is a darkside to this sport that isn’t talked about very much but needs to be brought out into the light. Occasionally the pairing is not done carefully enough and there are personality conflicts that are brought into play. The cowboy is out of sorts, or feeling a little insecure, and treats the bull with a certain amount of disrespect and things happen. Many of these cowboys also suffer from Separation Anxiety. This is a condition where the cowboy does not want to be separated from the bull before the 8 seconds are up. The bull realizes this and attempts to drive the cowboy into the dirt, then stomp on him. Sometimes he’ll smack the cowboy a good one with his horns. I don’t know why they just can’t get along.

 

CrowRodeo4347Case in point. This cowboy, due to his nervousness, said something uncomplimentary about the bulls mother and, well, you can see the result.

 

CrowRodeo4357I don’t know what happened here. This is just a disagreement they had that neither one will talk about.

 

CrowRodeo4406I do know what happened here. The bull absolutely hates, I mean hates, the color green. He has asked this cowboy numerous times to please not wear those green chaps. He did, and you can see the result.

 

CrowRodeo4331This is just a shame. Just a moment before the 8 second  buzzer went off an argument blew up out of nowhere and this is the result. I know they’re both sick about it but that’s why you should think before you say something you’ll regret.

 

Then a short tutorial on how to safely dismount a bull.

 

CrowRodeo4326Many times for one reason or another a cowboy just wants off the bull. Maybe he feels like he’s been on long enough, maybe he forgot a Dr.’s appointment, or he left the iron on in the trailer. Regardless, he wants off. But how to do this safely. Here’s a short lesson on how to get off a bull without the bull being able to break your legs and/or pelvis.

 

CrowRodeo4327In the image before this one you see the cowboy deciding enough is enough and committing to getting off. In the image immediately above you see him choosing the classic “I’m going off the Ass-end” maneuver.

 

CrowRodeo4328It gets a little tricky here because the bull is starting to realize what’s going on. This isn’t his first rodeo.

 

CrowRodeo4329This is this cowboys favorite getting off position and he knows exactly how to perform it. He is well into his dismount position and is just taking a little time to reflect on the past 6 or 7 seconds.

 

CrowRodeo4330And there you have it. He’s off. The bull is cheesed off because there was no bone breakage and the cowboy gets to walk away unscathed. Classic.

That’s the rodeo. I hope you had as much fun as the cowboys and the stock and the photographer. I know I did. After nearly seven hours of  standing out in the hot sun, I for one am ready for something cool. Lets go get something to drink and maybe a steak.

 

 

 

2014 Crow Nation Fair and Rodeo Day 2 Parade

This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!

Sunday morning was the big parade and it was wonderful. It was like a small town parade with homemade floats and people dressed up in costumes but from an Indian perspective. It was long and hot, the temp being in the low 90’s, but worth every second of it. We all got lawn chairs, found what shade we could and watched everything unfold.

The effort that went into designing and creating their native dress was spectacular. The pride they took in it and the seriousness with which they presented themselves spoke  to their deep reverence for their past. It was living history on display.

Usually I include a lot of dialog with each image but today I’ll just invite you to go to the parade with me. Pull your chair up, don’t leave your  water bottle sit out in the sun and enjoy the Crow Nation parade.

CrowParade3076Opening ceremonies. Presenting the flag and color guard.

 

CrowParade3081Men’s War Bonnet category.

 

CrowParade3101Young dancers on a float.

 

CrowParade3111                           Men’s War Shirt Category

 

CrowParade3121                           Men’s War Shirt category

 

CrowParade3142Women’s Old Time Saddle category

 

CrowParade3167                               Women’s Buckskin category

 

CrowParade3180                        Women’s Elk Tooth category

 

CrowParade3221                            Teen Boys Reservation Hat category

 

CrowParade3239                           Teen Boys War Bonnet

 

CrowParade3244                           Men’s War Bonnet

 

CrowParade3260                                 Teen Girls Nez Perce category

 

CrowParade3276                           Teen Girls Buckskin category

 

CrowParade3282                            Teen Girl’s Elk Tooth category

 

CrowParade3291                          Junior Girls Old Time Saddle category

 

CrowParade3321                         Junior Girl’s Elk Tooth category

 

CrowParade3447Young Crow dancers on Float

CrowParade3380Decorated truck and Float

And the parades over for this year. It was a lot of fun and even though the participants often looked serious you could tell they were having a good time. When they had gotten past the reviewing area the smiles came out, they waved to the crowd and basked in the attention. Lots of candy was thrown out to the kids and bystanders. The announcer made a point of telling everyone it was diabetic candy, apparently Diabetes is endemic in the tribes and there is a huge effort to educate and combat it. Soon all the exhibitors had unsaddled their horses, changed out of their costumes and we were back in the 21st century again. I have already placed this event on my calendar for next year. Why don’t you come along.