First American Art Magazine No. 21, Winter 2018/19 - Page 32

right Grass dancer Adam Nordwall (Shoshone- Ojibwe-Navajo) in Grand Entry for the Crow Fair Celebration Powwow. below Young girl wearing an elk-tooth dress. The lines at the bottom of the dress are the selvage, or ends of the bolt of wool fabric that are incorporated into clothing and blanket designs. In elk tooth dresses, only the elk's eye teeth are used, so only two teeth can be harvested from each animal. Most historic Crow elk tooth dresses are mostly carved teeth; the teeth are handed down from generation to generation. Most contemporary elk tooth dresses are made with replicas that are made from resin. —NS OPPOSITE, TOP The Indian Relay is a centuries-old sport of speed and unparalleled horsemanship. Indian athletes riding bareback around a track at full speed never fail to inspire an appreciation for both horse and rider. [Alongside the race] is the assortment of young Indian kids riding bareback outside the track’s fence, testing their own ponies’ speed. —DHW Known for their horsemanship, young Crow men, and sometimes women, compete in the race known as Indian Relay. Throughout Crow Fair children of all ages can be seen racing through camp and the rodeo grounds, emulating the famous Indian Relay riders. —NS OPPOSITE, BOTTOM “As I sang him a song years ago at Rocky Boy … our people are very fortunate that we’re part of the spiritual side of our world, and the horse is a very powerful force in our surroundings. I’m going to sing a song. It’s related to the white horse, but there’s a verse for every horse color that we have.” These were the words and the gift of song shared by a Cree rodeo friend of Richard Real Bird on Saturday night of Crow Fair as rodeo friends and family gathered to celebrate Richard’s birthday. At Crow Fair and Rodeo, you are reminded of the importance of song, that Indians are a spiritual people, and of the significance of the horse in the celebration of Indian life. The Crow Fair Rodeo takes place in the Edison Real Bird Memorial Complex. —DHW 30 | WWW.FIRSTAMERICANARTMAGAZINE.COM