Looking To The Past Living In The Present

Dancing at the powwows is one of the most important parts of the event. It is a time for addressing the spiritual needs of the dancers, displaying the regalia that is most significant to them and for pure enjoyment in participating in their culture.

Painting one’s face had great cultural significance and has deep meaning depending on which aspect of the culture the wearer wants to honor or display. It ranged from the simplest single stripe to several different colors each representing a different meaning and is one of the most important ways of stating their individuality.

This image of Raul Figueroa was made at the New Beginnings powwow held in Denver, Colorado in early May 2016. It is part of an ongoing project titled “Modern Portraits of North American Indians”, and is a celebration of the continuance of the Native American culture as it is being presented at this time in our society.

Crow Fair 2015 Portraits

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!

Portraits are about people. About emotion, attitude, about the way they’re feeling. What you see first of course is how they look, which after you study a portrait for awhile becomes the least important part of the process. What is important is whether the portrait engages you. Whether it makes you stop and look at it and perhaps feel a bond take place with the subject. It creates a connection that is difficult to put into words but is real just the same. Hopefully that will happen for you as view these portraits of members of the Crow tribe. They are a striking people.

There will be very few words used to describe the images. You know what you’re seeing and you know how it affects you. This is a moment where you get to quietly meet a wonderful group of people. These are people of the Crow Nation.

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A mother and child finding a quiet moment together.

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There is strength here

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Thinking things through

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These eyes have seen much

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Straight forward gaze and an unflinching look at the world

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Calm and at peace, secure in who he is

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All thoughts turn inward as her turn to dance approaches

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Seeing into the future, or the past

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Enjoying the spectacle while resting. A quiet smile for the photographer.

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A young man watching intently. Age isn’t a factor in the desire to do well.

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Everyone seems to exhibit extraordinary self-control in the midst of all the activity.

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Occasionally one takes time out for adjustments, both inside and outside

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Determination and focus is paramount

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Everything is watched closely.

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Color is everywhere and poise shows it off

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Tired but paying close attention

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A lovely woman, a lovely smile

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Intensity is always there

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A moment of rest

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This is who he is at the moment

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I am a member of this tribe, I belong.

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Can you be in the past and present at the same time…sometimes