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August 21, 2009

Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition

Book presentation with authors Ben and Linda Marra, Sept. 15, 7 pm

Local photographer Ben Marra and his wife Linda have spent the past twenty years crisscrossing the nation to document the majestic dance regalia worn at Native American powwows. The resulting book, Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition, reveals the dancers, who, united by the ageless rhythms of the powwow drums, come from many tribes and nations, different trades, and every corner of North America to celebrate customs both ancient and modern. On September 15 at the Burke Museum, Ben and Linda will share stories, visuals, and music from their journeys.

Faces from the Land showcases the determination of a new generation of Native Americans to keep the dancing tradition alive. As Ben and Linda Marra write in the introduction, "Twenty years on the powwow trail have made us realize that powwows are more than mere social occasions with handsome people dancing. The people have chosen a path of commitment, a way of life. . . . Dancing enables them to live with honor and pride in being Indian."

This event is free. Following the presentation, Ben and Linda Marra will sign copies of Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition and their first book, POWWOW: Images along the Red Road, both of which will be available for sale at the event.

About the Authors

Ben and Linda Marra are a husband-and-wife team who began to document powwows in 1988. The Marra's ongoing photography project includes a traveling exhibition for museums, two yearly calendar titles, fine art photographs, and lithographic art prints. Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition ($30) is published by Abrams Books. For more information, visit http://www.benmarra.com

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Travis Bear Ike,
Travis Bear Ike, "Spotted Back," Omaha
Photo © 2009 Ben Marra