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.