Wednesday, October 7, 2015

And Not A Blonde In Sight

I like `picking' up in Globe, Az and the MOtel 6 I stay in employs Apache Indians. I asked Sonya behind the desk if anything was happening in San Carlos. She told me about the Sunrise ceremonies that happen this time of year. Gail and I followed the directions of Mike from Quikstop and got lost.
I found a policeman and he had us follow him to Peridot, Az and at dawn we found the ceremony. In front of the two young dancing Apache girls was a line of containers filled with candy. Next to the girls were two elderly women also dancing. The Medicine man (Leonard Kentor)

was drumming and singing. The police officer introduced us to Mario DeClay,

the Apache god father of the girl. He was very kind and invited us to join others for breakfast in the wichi up (part of which the young girl built herself). I was told no photography and left my camera in my motel room. It wasnt till we had met the principles were we told that we could take some photos that night but no flash.
I was respectful when I returned on Sunday morning and didnt shoot the crown dancers while they had
corn pollen smeared over there black face masks.

The ceremony was totally without Christianity (unlike the Yaqui Easter ceremonies). It was entirely devoid of gringos except for me and Gail. It was rhythmic, beautiful and simple without greed or purpose beyond celebrating this young woman's right of passage.

below are some of the shots. I'll write more later.

The bonfire lit by a crown dancer Saturday nite.

cars kept coming in and circling the fire and the dancers

Sunday, the next day

women dancing to the right and left of the singers.

the men drummers and singers

Medicine Man and the young girl and her aid

the hoopah of 4 stripped trees

one in traditional wear and the other in contemporary garb

a young Apache with her cheek smeared with corn pollen

wouldn't Stan's Photos love this

like a painting by a Taos painter from the  turn of the 20th century

the woman in yellow is the grandmother of the girl. Apache is matrilineal. the married couple move in with the girl's family.

the three day ceremony was hardly over but Gail and I had to leave. Here the grandmother addresses the crowd gathered for her grand daughters Sunrise ceremony.


  1. Eric, Marc Medoff here, my cell phone deleted your message/phone number before I could call you back. I work and live in a whorehouse. You can come and take pictures and make money. Call me again or write me at So sorry lost touch for so long, so glad you reached out. Love, Marc

  2. Eric. Hi. Back in 1988 or 89 you photographed my then girlfriend (Lily) who was on the cover and had a spread in High Heeled women magazine.Vol2. #3 1989. I came to pick her up one day at your studio when you were shooting her and you took some photos of the both of us. If memory serves, you had me wearing her as a neck tie as she hung upside down from my neck. Ouch! I never got to see those shots and was wondering if A: you still had them? and B: if you could email me some copies? Thanks. Sorry for reaching out this way but I couldnt find any other contact info. Im at Thanks. Karl.

    1. sorry. i remember you and if i ever run across that shot i will try and send it.

  3. if i find them i will send them. could take decades but I have kept yr info.thanks