A magnificent volume and a journey through time: This is Christine Turnauer’s black and white photo series from 1986, first published in book form.
North American indigenous peoples travel thousands of miles to participate in traditional dance contests called powwows. Christine Turnauer visited them from northern Alberta to southern Montana with her mobile studio tent. The result was very 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 a connection to their ancestors. What at first glance may seem like the black-and-white photographs of an Edward S. Curtis and other classics of “Indian” portrait photography of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is experiencing a new perspective with Turnauer. For the poses are not posed by the photographer, but arise from the active participation of those photographed.