Over the last year, Montana-based photographer Clark Dunbar has been shooting portraits of Native Americans in traditional dress while attending powwows. The evocative portraits give a wonderful glimpse into the pride the participants have for their traditions while also highlighting their unique personalities.
Dunbar embarked on this project, which he calls The PowWow Portrait Series, after looking for a way to diversify and update his portfolio. In doing so, he stumbled upon old notes from college, where he expressed the desire to take these types of portraits. Now the project continues to grow, with Dunbar planning to expand his visits to other areas of the country, as well as exhibit and publish the photographs.
“This has become a passion project to celebrate the culture and personalities of the individuals in their continuance and teaching of the traditions and their heritage,” Dunbar tells My Modern Met. For him, there is great pleasure in meeting people and seeing how the Native American traditions and culture are taught to the youth.
Dunbar hopes that, through his work, people will take the time to learn a bit more about Native American culture. “I hope the viewer sees the individual—the confidence, the pride, the culture—and wants to know more…listen to the stories and learn more about the culture.”
To assist with his work and help fund future exhibitions, Dunbar has set up a crowdfunding campaign. Scroll down to see more of his incredible portraits.