Monday, April 26, 2010

More Wacipi

I'm still enjoying posting the Wacipi photos. I like the tenderness of this shot. Look how little that little cutie is!

One very striking thing about a Native American Wacipi (Pow Wow) is how cross generational it is. The elderly are definitely treated with respect. And teen girls are teen girls in any culture!
In these next two photos, I isolated my focal point by doing my usual Lab mode editing (increasing the contrast and brightness in Lab, and then converting back to RGB profile), then I created a lens blur layer, used the magnetic lassoo to select the focal point, created the inverse. Next, I masked another layer to this, and desaturated the background.

I did this to isolate the subject from the background so that all the beautiful background colors and action wouldn't compete so strongly with it.

One nice element included in the Wacipi Grand Finale is the presentation of University of North Dakota graduates. Students earning a degree this year walk around the arena, led by one of the elders (whom I believe is also a UND alumni). People from the audience, who know and love them, come forward and shake their hands.

Part of the graduation ceremony is also a ceremony in which graduates give gifts to others, whom they know, who have provided love and support in their studies, helping to make it possible. Sometimes it's blankets or quilts that are given. This is to provide thanks and appreciation. It's an acknowledgement that an accomplishment tends not to just represent the indvidual's hard work, but is in part a product of the whole community around the student.

The regalia (clothing) worn at a Wacipi is very symbolic, usually representing animals. I know very little about this symbolism, which is quite intricate, but I have heard that the clothing, and dancing, often depict baby birds, and the dance is a form of prayer calling for nurturance in the form of rain on spring crops.

13 comments:

Margaret said...

Wow! The colors in these are so amazing. I love those shots you processed to make the colors stand out even more. That first shot is so cute, too.

Suzy said...

These are awesome!! I think that 3rd one down is my favorite. There is just something special about that lady/shot! Nice job!

Esther said...

I love the shot of the teen girls. And the one of the elderly woman. Cool pping on that one too!

Karen said...

Fabulous photos - what an amazing experience to be able to witness this. Love your processed photographs.

Maria said...

I like the photo of the older lady sitting down. It's an interesting juxtaposition of the old, her costume, and the new, the suitcase next to her.

I love these traditions. They add a layer to life that can only enrich it.

Yolanda said...

I love the photo of the elderly woman. Her face tells a thousand stories!

Nicki, said...

So true about teens. I absolutely LOVE your picture of the elderly lady sitting with her suitcase and well done on de-saturating the background to draw emphasis on your focal point. Thanks for sharing.

Joanne said...

I love the shot of the old woman. I love your processing too.

Reds said...

Love all their costumes!! Thanks for your how-to too!! ;)

Jeanne said...

Absolutely beautiful photos, Angela! You've done them all proud. Thanks for sharing some of the backstory, too. That's so interesting to learn.

pat said...

Oh my goodness--I missed these posts over the weekend. Just amazing--what a visual treat! The amount of beadwork is phenomenal. I really like the way you isolated the gramma and desatted the background. Very effective.

Julie said...

These photos are amazing. So vibrant and rich.

Diana said...

These are awesome!
and thanks for sharing some of you proccesing with us