Wednesday, December 23, 2015

For Better or Worse

Back in 2005, the comic strip, "For Better or Worse" detailed the life of a young teacher who moved to a fictional Ojibwa town to teach young Native kids.  This was a long series, and may be an off-and-on bit still.  But, this was interesting to note because of the critical acclaim these strips garnered.  

Not only did this artist continue the normal humor of the strip about life, family, etc., but also included historical relevance, current events, modern culture, language issues, tribal issues, and most especially Native humor.  One particular series has the teacher character visiting a local powwow.  Normally, most artists would miss the mark when trying to convey the significance of an event like this.  But, the artist captured not only a white-person's 'outsider' perspective, but also the Native perspective very well.

At the time I tried to capture all the strips relevant to this powwow, as I felt this would be important one day.  Maybe as a tool to teach.  Maybe as a reference subject.  But, I wanted to share them now, so others could enjoy them, and maybe learn from them.

These can also be found at:

This seems to be a constant theme at many dances and places of worship...

Giveaways are important.  Not just because recognizing someone's importance to you with a gift is nice, but also as a token reminder of a time when the leadership of many tribes gave away many of their belongings to ensure the tribe was safe, healthy, and secure.

Crop circles are made by Grass Dancers!

This implies Eagle feathers fall on the ground often, which isn't the case.  But, when it does happen, the entire event comes to a complete stop while the need is attended to.

So. Very. Much. Cool. Stuff!

It is always important to introduce yourself before asking for a photograph with the dancer.  There are individuals who will not want their photo taken, but most will be happy to oblige. And questions about their outfits will be answered - the outfits are all personal and have a story.

Note: sometimes 'the call' is a little difficult to answer when wearing these outfits!

This doesn't happen at all dances.   But, if invited to participate, please do!  

My mother often says something she heard from her parents, and I say it often myself: "You learn something new every day".