Pow Wow dancers photography by Ivy Vainio

When Ivy Vainio attended her very first pow wow, she was just s senior high school student. She went to the pow wow with her mom, who was a member of Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe. Ivy told that she remembered it quite well. In 1986’s summer, her mom took her to the Nimiiwin Pow Wow when it used to take place in Bayfront Park.

There she used to see tipis, campers as well as all the dancers in their colorful decorative clothing. She really had an overwhelming feeling to see that all these are a part of her culture.

This was the same year when she first used the camera. She told that they were very poor that they did not have. Later she took a photography class. Once, she and her friends made a shoebox camera and made a photograph with that. She was fascinated by developing pictures at her home. But, she never thought that she would like to take this as a career or as a hobby.

Those experiences were like seeds; her dream came into full bloom over a quarter century later with her very first solo exhibit that has sixteen of her pictures of the pow wow dancers. The exhibit called Naamijig: Honoring Our Traditions started this fall, and the pictures will be put on display at Gimaajii Mino Bimaadiziyaan that is run by American Indian Community Housing Organization. The exhibit will go on till 31st December.