In today's world, anyone can capture a photograph with the touch of a button from their phone. In past years, during Family Reunion Festival, tribal members have been doing just that, documenting the memories for generations to come. For the past four years, CPN member and professional photographer,
Hoogstraten had the project in the back of her mind for quite some time. She reached out to CPN knowing they accepted art for the Family Reunion Festival, explaining she wished to document the annual Tribal gathering for historical purposes. As a result, the idea turned into a four year project that has documented the modernity of Potawatomi tradition.
"I knew I always wanted to do a photo project to preserve history for my Tribe," said Hoogstraten. "I was inspired to capture members preserving the traditional dress of their ancestors, but also relating regalia to contemporary living and their own personal stories."
Her photographic portrait project of Potawatomi Indians in regalia aims to capture the tradition in a modern sense. Hoogstraten would have each subject pose in traditional stance, which would then lead into small movements and eventually full on dancing. She chose to capture subjects regardless of age or gender in order to show the full range of each style within the traditions.
"The whole idea of my project is to capture the essence of Potawatomi traditions and create a place in history for the Tribe," said Hoogstraten. "Preserving the faces, stories, and regalia of modern Potawatomis will contribute to a better understanding of their transformed place in the diverse life of America.
"I'm so grateful for the chance meeting with
For the first several years working on her project, Hoogstraten reached out to KGFF news director,
Hoogstraten explained "The last year I worked on the project, people started to recognize me and the process was easier to ask individuals dressed in regalia during Family Reunion Festival if they would be interested in having their photograph taken."
Hoogstraten uses a medium format
"I can't begin to express how thankful I am for everyone who had a hand in helping with this project and for the individuals who were willing to take time out of their lives to posing for the images," explained Hoogstraten. "It was amazing how willing and open people were to help out. The whole process felt like a group effort to maintain the history of the Potawatomi people. I made a lot of friends and am hoping this is just a good beginning to this project and that I can continue to capture more subjects."
Currently residing in the
For more information on Hoogstraten's project, entitled "Dancing for
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