My “Indians” (Native Americans) UPDATED, 2007 Photographed by Jair (Yair) Moreshet, 1994-2007 Background: As a young boy in Israel, I was fascinated by the books I read of the German author Karl May about “Indians” and pioneers in America. (These books were translated into many languages and are considered ones of the world's all-time best-selling fiction [but not in the US].) I was already 45 years old visiting an American soil (or any other foreign soil) for the first time. –Somehow though, I still expected to see “Indians” on the streets the way they became rooted in my imagination… It took me years to actually find them. My “Indian” friend Benjamin who is active in preservation of their cultural heritage in Massachusetts, in particular music A wood carving in my living room by Peter Toth. The American artist Peter Toth is an immigrant / refugee from Hungary of the Soviet era. He erected huge wood carving monuments of “Indians” in each and every state of the US and Canada as a personal mission, honoring the Native Americans. - He must have read Karl May as a boy, too… (My wood carving was created some 20 years ago as an intermediate step toward the creation of the huge carving monument in Acadia National Park, Maine. - I found it there, where it was neglected in a local storage.) Passing the heritage in a local weekend event in Massachusetts “Indians” of the Grand Canyon area Traditional “Cochina” dolls of the Hopi “Indians”, a few thousand $ each Southwestern “Indian” architecture in a modern hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico Southwestern “Indian” vendors sell native art on a side walk in Santa Fe Central American Aztecs An Aztec set the fire for a dance over fire. Amazon Rainforest “Indians” playing a tune on their weapon pipe used for blowing poison arrows Eating Alligator meat leftover from their visitors A current residence of Amazon Rainforest “Indians” - In a bit more established village in the Amazon Rainforest A Pow Wow event in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada A major annual Pow Wow event in Calgary, Alberta Canada, including dance competitions in several categories: Individual men under 65, Individual women over 65, “Tribes” (whole families), etc. The opening parade led by the most senior chief, escorted by Canadian officers. The opening parade continues by the categories of competitors The actual competitions begin The sound band of the event: Traditional vocals and a common big drum in the middle Breathless competitors waiting for the judges at the end of a round… - When international visitor volunteers, me among them, are invited to take the stage in the middle of the competitions… “Open House” on the Pow Wow event grounds… Native worshippers in a Sunday service at the Russian Orthodox Church in Sitka, Alaska. Sitka was the colonial center of “Russian America” (Alaska) before Russia sold the territory to the USA. Sitka, Alaska: Tall Totem Poles in the forest. This region has heavy annual precipitation, the highest in North America, which makes trees grow fast and tall. It may explain in part the Totem Poles in the native culture here and along the North West Coast. As opposed to the other churches, the Russian Orthodox missionaries didn’t insist that the natives completely abandon their prior culture, including Totem Poles. Sitka: A monument in the form of a boat, painted with native art which, like in the case of Totem Poles, includes icons of wild life common to the area: Eagle, Raven, Killer Whale, etc. Fishing is both traditionally and currently the main part of the economy. The small isolated native marine community of Metlakatla is the only “native reservation” in Alaska. They are dedicated today to the revival and preservation of their own specific native culture after having to abandon it at the time as required by their own beloved Christian missionary. Metlakatla, Alaska: Native dance performance. Wooden masks are another prominent cultural element here and along the North West Coast. Metlakatla, Alaska: The native regalia here carry a big native icon of an Eagle, a Raven, a Killer Whale, or a Wolf -- the names of the 4 clans (chamulas) of the tribe. By tradition, marriage is permitted only between different clans, which eases a bit their concern about intermarriages within their tiny community. Metlakatla, Alaska: This Totem Pole, standing next to one of the houses, includes a Cross which may be a clue to some residual struggle in between the old and the “new” cultures. Ketchikan, Alaska, the Saxman Native Village: A typical traditional housing of the coastal native tribes of the North West. The typical traditional house consists of a single huge room that includes an open fire. It hosts a complete clan of many individual families (with no privacy). The small city of Ketchikan, Alaska, has the very highest annual precipitation in North America, and it shows in the high number and dimensions of their Totem Poles. Here with the mayor of Ketchikan, a native himself. Northwestern Native art in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia: In parks, in museums and in galleries.