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People of the Dancing Sky:
The Iroquois Way

December 10, 2005 to March 19, 2006

In 1995, award-winning Toronto photographer Myron Zabol began a five-year project to record, through the eyes of his camera, the lives and traditions of the Haudenosaunee, the Six Nations Iroquois, at the end of the twentieth century.

For this exhibition, guest curator Keith Jamieson has selected fifty black-and-white photographs that provide a “portrait” of the complex values and beliefs of the Haudenosaunee people as expressed through their clothing and other means.

This stunning photographic display of chiefs, faithkeepers, dancers, clan mothers, and others in the community shows the resilience of Iroquoian culture and the many ways in which it has changed over time. In the words of Myron Zabol, “one example is the ribbon shirt, which was first introduced during the turn-of-the-twentieth century Wild West shows in which many Iroquoian families and other Native people worked as a means to earn a living.” While the ribbon shirt is still worn today, Iroquoian dress is increasingly influenced by modern fashion trends as illustrated in Zabol’s photographs.

People of the Dancing Sky: The Iroquois Way provides insight into the strength and pride of the Haudenosauee showing how they draw upon the traditions of their past as well as on present opportunities to express their rich and proud culture.

Myron Zabol Interview - Windows Media Player

Organized by the Woodland Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada

Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

Cody Moore by Myron Zabol

Myron Zabol, 1945-
Cody Moore (Little Shadow), 1996
Oneida/Pima Bear Clan Traditional Dancer
gelatin silver print
50.8 x 61 cm
Woodland Cultural Centre
© Myron Zabol

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