Photographer's Note

People don't usually associate a city like Baltimore with American Indian culture or society, however there are over 5,000 registered within the city. This event is the annual intertribal pow wow held in the city each year. In addition to the thousands of visitors to this event, there are often hundreds of Native Americans involved too.

The clothing that is worn at celebrations and events such as this is typically referred to as regalia. Many First Americans, take offense to the term "costume" as it is generally thought to refer to the "red face savage" costumes worn at halloween. The dress this young woman is wearing is called a jingle dress, and may carry as many as 700 bells. According to what I have learned and been told, the dress and associated dance has their origin with the Ojibwe people of northern Minnesota. It is said that a medicine man had a vision that if he dressed his sick grand daughter in such a dress she would be healed. So he made her a such a dress. When it came time to dance, she was so ill that she had to becarried around the circle. On the second time around the circle, she could barely walk and required the aid of several women. On the third time, she was able to walk. Finally on the fourth time, she was able to dance and was cured of her illness. It is also said that to dance makes the bells happy and hence they jingle in joy.

This shot catches my attention, because as this young lady passes, you can see that she seems to have captured the attention of the young man in the background. I wonder if this may be the start of a love affair?

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Additional Photos by Ned Messerschmidt (nmess) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 558 W: 78 N: 414] (2301)
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