((L) Adam Tsosie Nordwall (Shoshone, Chippewa, Diné) Copyright 2007, photo by Ben Marra (R) Kevin Haywahe (Assiniboine) Copyright 2007, photo by Ben Marra)
Faces from the Land: A Photographic Journey Through Native America by Ben and Linda Marra is a traveling exhibition that documents the proud spirit and identity of Native American powwow dancers throughout the United States and Canada. The exhibition will be on view through September 24, 2022.
The exhibit features 36 of Ben Marra’s large color portraits of powwow dancers. Each photograph is accompanied by personal written narratives written by the subject, compiled by Linda Marra, describing the tribal significance of their regalia and dance. The striking images, along with the text, vividly detail the beauty of the powwow, which juxtaposes tradition and modern culture.
Working together as photographer and producer/documentarian respectively, Ben and Linda began to document powwows in 1988. The powwow is an integral part of Native life, offering the opportunity for peoples to gather and celebrate their spiritual connections to their ancestors, the earth, community and traditions through drumming, dance and song.
The Marras produce two international calendars annually — Native American Dance and Powwow: Portraits of Native Americans — that are available at a discount to Native youth groups for fund-raising projects. Their award-winning book, Powwow: Images Along the Red Road, was published by Abrams in 1996 and is in its eighth printing. The Marras’ work has been featured in numerous museums, national magazines and was included in The Handbook of North American Indians published by the Smithsonian Institution. Their second book, Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition was published in 2009 by Abrams.