Photographer's Note

I wish I knew the history of this event better, but I don't. My wife and I recently moved to the town of Woburn, MA, and we've been exploring the various summer festivals and concerts that are delightfully common here. Certainly the most unexpected of these was a 'Pow wow', a version of a Native American ritual meeting and celebration, which took place on the lawn of an elementary school. Music, drumming, food and wares for sale surrounded the sacred circle, inside which there was a fire burning and people young and old dancing around it in traditional style. Some were dressed in a more traditional way while others were dressed in modern clothes or a mix of the two. It was an interesting and eclectic crowd, and it was difficult to tell how many of the people there were descendants of Native Americans or Native Americans themselves.

The man pictured was by far the most heavily dressed up of the assembled crowd. Given the destructive nature of US history toward most Native American nations - and especially those in the Eastern part of the country, who were almost completely wiped out or driven out in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries - this shot jumped out at me: the old man in native dress, flanked by an American flag with darkening clouds on the horizon.

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Additional Photos by Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 884 W: 75 N: 1695] (7511)
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