The day begins early in the Powwow arena, relatives honor each other with Gourd Dancing. Grand entry brings the ceremony to life with vibrant colors and movement, the sun sets and the sky darkens. The night air is cool from rain and full of sound; the drums can be heard from a long distance. I find myself slipping in and out of the darkness, waiting for the right moment; light and composition are factoring into my every thought. I am an outsider in this ceremony. I try to be unobtrusive, respectful, and trustworthy. I work a scene and then move on, searching the light for something that will tell this story and perhaps even evoke emotion. A single image becoming something of beauty and importance, that is what I am striving for as my mind races forward. I can feel the tiredness creeping into my body and mind, but the drums keep me going. I ask a man for his portrait, beautiful!…thank you I say and move on. The moon is still young, and the sky an inky black. Large stadium lights bath the edges of the arena, the Ceremony continues.
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Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2008. All Rights reserved.