Tesuque Buffalo Dancers

The pueblos hold ceremonial feasts to keep the world in harmony. Winter dances personify the deer, buffalo and antelope. The buffalo dance is in honor of the buffalo who have provided the people with food and clothing.

The 800-year-old Tesuque Pueblo remains one of the more conservative pueblos and it was only with proper permissions in place that I was allowed to photograph two young dancers, James Duran and Tun-te' Vigil. Through intermittent snow showers they danced and together we preserved a moment for future generations.

Nearly a century earlier, Edward Curtis had visited Tesuque Pueblo and photographed two male buffalo dancers. To view the two photos shows how much has changed and how much has managed to remain intact. To me, the differences emphasize the importance of creating a visual record.

This image and others are available as archival prints.

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