It's in my blood.
Since I was given my first camera, when I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by capturing in a shot what my eyes were seeing around me. The beauty of nature or the smile of a friend, an event or an emotion... Precious pearls to be framed in a photo. Whether freezing a movement or moving the stillness, looking at normality through a different angle or portraying the exceptional, I can choose different perspectives, I can catch reality. I think this passion is in my blood, I inherited it from my Grandpa and then from my Dad, and it has always had a great influence in my life. Come and follow me in my journey searching impressions of life.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Count-Down to the Pow Wow

Less than one week to go! This year's Children of Many Colors Native American Intertribal Pow Wow is here!

The last step of this count-down sees Northern Traditional dancer Nico Blackeagle Phoenix who is Paiute and also Tohono O'odham.

I like all the different dance styles and all the regalia of the dancers, but I must confess this specific style has always attracted my attention. The feather bustles, the hair pipe breast-plates and chokers, the beadwork: A full regalia at its best. And the steps of the dance are a beautiful mix of warrior and hunter movements.

This dance is a contemporary style but is originating from the old traditional dances of the tribes living in the Northern Plains – hence the name it's called with. Those were specifically danced by the warrior societies, as celebrations or rituals before battles. Nowadays, it's more up to the single dancers and their interpretations, but you can still see the representation of a war story, and also the imitation of animals or hunting tactics. As a matter of fact, I often asked myself if some of the steps I had seen on different occasions were imitating the birds of the prairie that I had seen in many documentaries when I was younger.

The feather bustle worn in the back is very impressive. It's usually an arrangement of tail and wing feathers and in this case Nico also has an eagle head in the center. Originally only a few dancers were allowed to wear bustles, but they have now become part of the Traditional Dance outfit. Beadwork is also very important and Nico's vest, arm and head bands as well as the other accessories are really works of art.

The dancer is also carrying a dance staff, reminiscent of a staff that was brought to battle by many tribes. Nico's one is finely decorated and has an eagle claw at the top of it. Also, he's wearing a beautiful breast-plate made of hollow bones, reaching almost his knees, and he's carrying an eagle-feather fan. Nico's regalia is completed by the traditional roach, made of porcupine and deer hair, as a head-dress.

This dance has some unique steps, often part of the dancer's own style, but a couple worth mentioning are when the dancers are hopping at the beat of the drum or are starting the dance very low on the ground, imitating an animal looking for a prey or a warrior in the field.

I hope you can enjoy these photos and try to imagine this dance, if you hadn't had the chance to witness one in person! Keep checking these pages for more pictures in the future, sharing the culture of the Native people of America.

1 comment: