SYLVIA HORWITZ photography
PEOPLE IN PLACE: Powwow
These photographs were taken at Grand Portage during Rendezvous Days at four separate powwow gatherings from 1995-1999.
At opening ceremonies tribal flags are carried along with the flags of Canada and the United States. Veterans of foreign war and the families of those who died in military service are honored.
Moccasined feet touch the earth in traditional steps as ancestors are remembered. The elders speak of how they felt the same heartbeat of the drums and rhythm of the dance in the land of many nations, long before there were reservations.
Some of these powwow images were also included in an exhibit sponsored by the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota in 2003. This statement appeared with the work:
INSPIRED BY A WOMAN
The women of Grand Portage Reservation know that their strong sense of ethnic identity has been the key to survival. "We are still Indian in spite of a thousand treaties and missionaries with their black frocks" writes one Ojibwe author. "We will endure because we are Indian."*
Inspired by those who have handed down elements of tribal heritage from generation to generation, the women carry on. They sew outfits with beads, ribbons, and feathers, jingles for the jingle dresses, and fringes for the shawls of powwow dancers.
At home on the shores of Lake Superior, in the land of their mothers or the families of their husbands, they honor the great cycles of nature and tradition. These women bestow upon their children a sense of pride, purpose, and destiny in their vital role as living history.
*Ref: D. Bibeau in Lake Superior Indians
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