Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Indian Reservation

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9780806141589: Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from the Wind River Indian Reservation

Three decades of contemporary Northern Arapaho life in images and essays

In what is now Colorado and Wyoming, the Northern Arapahos thrived for centuries, connected by strong spirituality and kinship and community structures that allowed them to survive in the rugged environment. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, as Anglo-Americans pushed west, Northern Arapaho life changed dramatically. Although forced to relocate to a reservation, the people endured and held on to their traditions. Today, tribal members preserve the integrity of a society that still fosters living ni iihi , as they call it, "in a good way." Award-winning photographer Sara Wiles captures that life on film and in words in Arapaho Journeys, an inside look at thirty years of Northern Arapaho life on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming.

Through more than 100 images and 40 essays, Wiles creates a visual and verbal mosaic of contemporary Northern Arapaho culture. Depicted in the photographs are people Wiles met at Wind River while she was a social worker, anthropology student, and adopted member of an Arapaho family. Among others pictured are Josephine Redman, an older woman wrapped in a blanket, soft light illuminating its folds, and rancher-artist Eugene Ridgely, Sr., half smiling as he intently paints a drum. Interspersed among the portraits are images of races, basketball teams, and traditional games. Wiles s essays weave together tribal history, personal narratives, and traditional knowledge to describe modern-day reservation life and little-known aspects of Arapaho history and culture, including naming ceremonies and cultural revitalization efforts. This work broaches controversial topics, as well, including the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians.

Arapaho Journeys documents not only reservation life but also Wiles s growth as a photographer and member of the Wind River community from 1975 through 2005. This book offers readers a journey, one that will enrich their understanding of Wiles s art and of the Northern Arapahos history, culture, and lived experience.

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About the Author:

Sara Wiles is an independent photographer, writer, and scholar who holds a master s degree in anthropology from Indiana University. Her photographs, including the images published here for the first time, have been exhibited nationally. Frances Merle Haas is director of the Sky People Higher Education Program of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, a writer, and traditional Arapaho storyteller.

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Sara Wiles, Frances Merle Haas (Foreword)
Published by Univ of Oklahoma Pr (Trd) (2011)
ISBN 10: 0806141581 ISBN 13: 9780806141589
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Wiles, Sara
Published by Univ of Oklahoma Pr (Trd) (2011)
ISBN 10: 0806141581 ISBN 13: 9780806141589
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