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.