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Photographer Captures Powerful Portraits of Native Americans

Photographer Craig Varjabedian is known for his stunning portrait series celebrating the lives and cultures of Native Americans. Varjabedian works closely with each Native American who sits for a portrait. Together, they find what works in order to tell the story of the individual’s cultural identity. By cultivating trust, Varjabedian is able to pull out beautifully expressive imagery that speaks to the deep ties each person has to their roots. His work doesn’t focus on the sitter as “exotic,” as often happens, but portrays them as an equal who is actively involved in how they are portrayed.

Larry, Eagle Dancer, Meskwaki

native americans

Chuugaa Hoewii (Redhawk), Tewa, Ohkay Owingeh

In The Belly Of The Bear (After A Photograph By Edward S. Curtis), Rodrigo, Chickasaw

native americans

Calvert, Plains Dance Regalia, Diné

Tanysha With Flowers In Her Hair, Keres, Kewa Pueblo

native americans

Yanabah Moonsky (Sky Warrior), Diné

Marlene (To’dikozhi) And Jayme (Wahinkpe Wakan), Navajo And Lakota

native americans

Chris, Deer Dance Regalia, Tewa, Ohkay Owingeh

Tsiguwaenu Ohuwa Munu (Turbulent Lightning Cloud), Tewa, Nambé Owingeh

native americans

Elk Deer, Two Term Tribal Governor, Taos Pueblo

Povi T’say (Yellowflower), Tewa, Ohkay Owingeh

native americans