Last Saturday I drove up to Tokeland, one of my favorite little towns in the county, to photograph the Shoalwater Bay Tribe's annual Pow Wow. It was a really beautiful and warm day — which made it kind of a bummer that the actual pow wow events were all indoors. So when I got there, I spent a fair amount of time hanging outside, photographing people biding time before the grand entry, and getting dressed in their regalia. Here's some of what I saw:
This is probably my favorite pic from my take. It's not as Sol would call a "Slam F@*%ing Dunk! (TM)" picture, but I love the light and the subtlety to it. The girl on the right is receiving instruction from her older cousin on some of the finer points of traditional dance, as this was one of her first pow wow's.
I found these kids here leaping between two logs prior to getting dressed for the show. Once again taking advantage of the light.
I was attracted to all the yellow beads on this woman's attire, which apparently is the idea. She said many dancers will use a brigter color for their adornments in order to catch the eye of the judge.
A new division this year was called "tiny tots" for kids under the age of 7. After doing a couple dances they gave the kids a prize of a couple bucks and a Tootsie Pop. During this process some of the kids started eyeing the others' prizes, kinda sizing them up I think.
Here's what I did with it on the cover of the Life section this week.
I think I may have mentioned this before, but I really have grown to love photographing cultural events like this. I do it pretty often and the best ones are those where the people participating really believe in what they're doing, as it lends an air of sincerity to it I think.
The night following the Pow Wow I photographed the new priest at the local Catholic church giving the Sunday night mass at the 100-plus year old McGowan Church. I think the story is being held at least a week though, so I'll wait to post anything from that for a bit. But I'm pretty excited at how those pix came out too. By the end of the year I would like to be able to put together an essay of sorts with the idea of "something old, something new" with people of the modern day taking part in things that are more associated with oder times. I think that both of these may apply.