Traditional Subjects is an ongoing project of photographing individuals who are working to preserve their Native American cultures and traditions.
Navajo painter, RC Gorman On an extremely hot summer's evening in June 1994, RC Gorman sat for me on the prairie near his Taos, New Mexico home. He was sweltering under a 100-year-old wool blanket and gallantly tolerating mosquito bites to pose for this portrait.
Limited Edition of 150 prints...9.25 x10 Inches - 50 @ $125 ea. 16.6 x 18 Inches - 75 @ $300 ea. 20.4 x 22 Inches - 20 @ $400 ea. 5 Custom Sizes by Quote
Lakota Dancers at Red Rocks A Lakota grass dancer follows a traditional Lakota dancer across a ridge at Red Rocks Park in Colorado.The grass dance evolved from when men tucked long grasses into their belts to today's colorful outfits which are covered from shoulder to ankle with long flows of brightly colored cloth fringe. The steps and movements are very old and are believed to have originated from an old warriors dance to express victory over an enemy. The traditional dance is one of the oldest dances of the Northern plains. Some say it originated when war parties returned to the village and would dance out their story of the battle. The outfit typically consists of a coup stick, eagle feathers, furs, porcupine quills, beads and bells and may include pieces handed down over generations.
Limited Edition of 150 prints...6.8 x 10 Inches - 50 @ $125 ea. 12.2 x 18 Inches - 75 @ $300 ea. 14.9 x 22 Inches - 20 @ $400 ea. 5 Custom Sizes by Quote
The Centennial Ride to Wounded Knee On December 29, 1990, in blowing snow and wind-chill temperatures around fifty degrees below zero, more than 350 mounted riders approached Wounded Knee, South Dakota to observe the end of seven generations of mourning on the centennial of the historic massacre there.The riders had retraced the path of Big Foot and his people on the seven day ride. As they rode over the last few hills, the frozen horses and riders took on a timeless and ghostly appearance as if they were indeed riding in from the past. The suffering that all experienced from the cold that day seemed that much more appropriate in remembering the results of one culture failing to understand another.
Limited Edition of 150 prints...7.4 x 10 Inches - 50 @ $150 ea. 13.4 x 18 Inches - 75 @ $400 ea. 16.4 x 22 Inches - 20 @ $600 ea. 5 Custom Sizes by Quote
Aztec Dancer Wearing brilliantly colored feathers that represent the sun, traditional Aztec dancer, Carlos Castaneda, performs a high energy dance against the sky's last light. His Grupo Tlaloc dance troupe honor their life and tradition through their dances and songs and with brilliant colors and sequins in their outfits, headdresses and musical instruments. Each dancer designs an outfit to represent an element of their preference. His represents wisdom, knowledge, purification, and the after-life.Originating in central Mexico, the Azteca dance is the culmination of thousands of years of cultural wars, conquests and ultimately, survival. Through the dance steps, drum beats, and ceremonies, the memory of ancient peoples survives into the 21st century.
Limited Edition of 150 prints...7.3 x10 Inches - 50 @ $125 ea. 13.1 x 18 Inches - 75 @ $300 ea. 16 x 22 Inches - 20 @ $400 ea. 5 Custom Sizes by Quote
Ojibwe in Redcoat Garth Butler, an Ojibwe (Chippewa), wears an outfit consisting of a chief's redcoat, an antique beaver skin hat and a hand carved war club. Below his knees are sashes made with deer toe rattles. Around 1800, the Ojibwe controlled nearly all of present-day Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Hoping to protect their lands against encroachment by American settlers they allied with the British in the War of 1812. Red coats were sometimes given to chiefs as gifts from the British. They became prized possessions and the Hudson Bay Company carried on the gifting of red coats to chiefs who had been friendly and of service to them. The Ojibwe are part of a long-term alliance with the Odawa and Potawatomi, called the Council of Three Fires. The Ojibwe are, and have been, the most populous of the three and are the fourth-largest population among Native American tribes in the United States
Open Edition prints...10.25 x15 Inches - @ $125 ea. 12.3 x 18 Inches - @ $175 ea. 15 x 22 Inches - @ $275 ea. 22.54 x 33 Inches - @ $275 ea. Custom Sizes by Quote
Couple in Woodland Regalia Debbie and Robin Hassinger of Cassopolis, Michigan pose in their Women's and Men's Traditional Woodland outfits.Debbie is a 13th great-granddaughter of Pocahontas and therefore 14th of Wahunsunacawh, chief of the Powhatans. She's also a grand niece of John Curtis Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It adds up to a bloodline of Cherokee and Powhatan plus Irish and German. She designed her outfit with roses to represent the Cherokees' Trail Of Tears and shamrocks to represent her Irish heritage.The fringe was taken from the hide dress that she made and wore for her naming many years ago. Her spiritual name is Menoanungqwa, meaning Good Star Woman.She is retired, now being a housewife and involved in the ministries in their church. She has pride and responsibilities that, as a woman elder, she takes very seriously.Robin is Ojibwe with a spiritual name of Ma Day We Mgizee, meaning Strong Heart Eagle. A senior designer for BorgWarner, he made his entire woodland regalia which consists of floral oriented bead work and a typical black background. 'I spent one winter beading my turban and another winter beading the top. The beads that hang in the front are an old way'His outfit, one of several, consists of deer toe jingles on the ankles, buffalo on the knees, cuffs and the tail of his fan, wild turkey spurs on his necklace and a muskrat medicine bag. The sassafras dance stick was a gift from his mother. A vine grew around it forming the spiral. The eagle head, foot and feathers for his bustle were also gifted.'I grew up hunting, fishing living off and with the land and nature.' says Robin. 'I believe it is important we teach our children this and not let modern technology take such a big hold on our children. Teach them to plant, harvest, respect, nurture and pray more.' Giveaways, attributes of Indian generosity, are an important part of a pow wow and are preceded by an Honor Song.The tradition of the giveaway is an ancient practice. Leaders and chiefs reinforced their status by distributing personal wealth among others. In essence, paying for or honoring their position with gift giving. Worthy gifts included horses, weapons, clothing, blankets, and food. At a pow wow, the giveaway has become a ceremony where a person, family or organization is honored. In return they give away many gifts to their friends, the staff, dancers or anyone else of the givers' choosing, as acknowledgment of appreciation for honor or service given to the people. There are personal giveaways as well as general or end of pow wow giveaways, such as the one pictured here, in which each recipient has a turn choosing from the gifts being offered.When receiving a gift, the recipient thanks everyone involved in the giving.
Open Edition prints...11.1 x 15 Inches - @ $125 ea. 13.3 x 18 Inches - @ $175 ea. 16.28 x 22 Inches - @ $275 ea. 24.4 x 33 Inches - @ $375 ea. Custom Sizes by Quote
Odawa in Traditional Regalia Ron Wittenberg serves on the tribal council of the Little River Band of Odawa Indians located in Manistee. In Michigan, the Odawa (Ottawa) traditionally used lands throughout what is now the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan for hunting, cultivating and gathering. The Little River Band lived along the Manistee River, Pere Marquette River and in several villages on the Grand River.The Odawa are in the Council of Three Fires alliance with the Potawatomi and Ojibwe. All are among the Anishinaabeg nations that inhabited the Great Lakes region and speak variations of the Algonquin language.Ron, a full-blooded Odawa, is wearing a Men's Traditional Regalia consisting of woodlands and western elements. The leggings, for instance, are tight without fringe and his porcupine hair roach is cut back in the front in the woodlands style, but the eagle feather bustle is western. Horse hair dangles from the feather ends. He did the bead work on his eagle dance stick with colors honoring the service of his brothers and others in Vietnam. Otherwise, 'everything I wear was gifted' by family and friends.His spiritual name is Bah Maa mii Nini meaning Man Looks Around. Ron's turtle shell depicts walking the Red Road into the red and purple sunset: life's journey. The colors around the perimeter and the yellow dots on the feathers of his fan represent the four directions. Yellow is the east and the start of a new day.
Open Edition prints...10.9 x 15 Inches - @ $125 ea. 13.08 x 18 Inches - @ $175 ea. 15.98 x 22 Inches - @ $275 ea. 23.97 x 33 Inches - @ $375 ea. Custom Sizes by Quote
Priscilla and Jose Vigil of Tesuque Pueblo On one of my visits to Tesuque Pueblo, the Vigils cordially agreed to dress and pose for me in the pueblo center. Their son was the pueblo governor at the time.
Open Edition prints...7.6 x 10 Inches - @ $125 ea. 13.6 x 18 Inches - @ $175 ea. 16.7 x 22 Inches - @ $275 ea.
Roy Jealous of Him Roy Jealous of Him, a Lakota Sioux, outside his one room cabin on the Pine Ridge Reservation.