CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME

MAY 20, 2010

This photograph of Teri, Epaleckt, and Jeffery Scott of the Nez Perce Tribe was taken by Ben Marras, who will speak at the Weippe Camas Festival May 29. The picture has never before been published in a newspaper and is included in “Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition.” Photo ©Ben Marra.

Marras appearing at Weippe Camas Festival

Linda and Ben Marra   Idaho native son and internationally renowned photographer Ben Marra, along with wife and collaborator, Linda, will be one of the featured program highlights at the 10th annual Camas Festival in Weippe Saturday, May 29.

   The Marras, known as Mr. and Mrs. Powwow, have crisscrossed the nation from their home in Seattle since 1988 to document the majestic dance regalia worn at Native American powwows. At each gathering, Ben Marra invites participants into his improvised studio to be photographed in full traditional dress, while Linda records the stories behind their outfits and dance. Their portfolio is the largest in existence and has been featured in numerous museums, books and national magazines. Signed fine art photographs and lithographic art prints are also available.

   Ben, a native of Wallace, and Linda, have produced two books published by New York's Harry N. Abrams. The award winning "POWWOW: Images along the Red Road," released in 1996, is now in its 9th printing. "Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition," the newest, hard cover release, is a continuation of the Marras' photographic journey that explores the proud spirit of American Indian powwow dancers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The photographs are also featured in a popular yearly calendar. Information about the twenty-two year project is available at benmarra.com.

The cover of “Faces from the Land: Twenty Years of Powwow Tradition” by Ben and Linda Marra.    On Saturday at 1:15 p.m., the Marras will speak about their 22 year documentary along with a seven-minute video presentation of fifty images set to powwow music. A question and response session will precede a book signing opportunity following the presentation.

   "Ben and Linda's program strongly supports this Camas Festival theme of 'Road to the Buffalo,' considering their research and studies in writing and producing "Images Along the Red Road" and "Faces from the Land," said Marge Kuchynka, Camas Festival chairperson.

   "The powwow is an integral part of Native American life offering the opportunity for people to gather and celebrate their spiritual connections to their ancestors, the earth, the community, and traditions through drum, song and dance," Ben said.

   "This year's photo contest entitled 'Nature Shots Along the Trail' may inspire future photographers, especially coupled with the Marras' presentation," Kuchynka said.

   The Camas Festival begins Friday, May 28, at 5 p.m. with a Dutch Oven Cook-Off Dinner followed by the melodrama, "The Ratcatcher's Daughter." Events Saturday, May 29, begin with a breakfast, fun run/walk followed by events and activities throughout the day.