North American indigenous peoples travel thousands of miles to participate in traditional dance contests called powwows. With her portable studio tent, Christine Turnauer visited them from northern Alberta to southern Montana. The result: authentic and extraordinary portraits. The dancers were completely themselves, and when they wear their traditional costumes, it becomes a spontaneous expression of pride and inner freedom. It seems as if they have an inner connection to their ancestors. What at first glance may seem like the black-and-white photographs of Edward S. Curtis, or other classics of “Indian” portrait photography from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, differs in Christine Turnauer’s portraits, because the poses are not staged by the photographer, but arise from the active participation of those photographed.
To learn more about the publication of the photo project click here.