The Art of the Pow Wow
ICTMN is pleased to introduce the work of photographer Francesca Wiyaka Luta. Collected in this gallery is a selection of her work shooting pow wows over the past several years. You can view more of her work at Facebook.com/TawamiciyaPhotography. Francesca has also shared the following thoughts with ICTMN about herself and her art....
Han! (Hi!) I am called Francesca Wiyaka Luta (Red Feather in English). I was born in Houston, Texas on Mother’s Day in 1986. I always tell my mom I was a wonderful Mother’s day gift to her since I was her firstborn. I am Lakota, Oglala Sioux, with a dash of Mexican and French blood. My mother’s family is from Pine Ridge, South Dakota and my father’s family from Rosebud, South Dakota.
I grew up with three younger siblings, Buliwyf, Ulisses, and Katarina. Since we were raised solely by my courageous mother, Laura, our life was not easy in any way, shape, or form. But through God’s grace we survived and share a bond no one else can comprehend. My fascination for the camera originated from this bond. To this day I do not hesitate to capture family moments of all sorts.
We moved between Minnesota and Texas so much that by the time I reached my senior year of high school I was attending my 14th school. This caused me to adapt to new environments rapidly and meeting new people was a breeze. I remain very social and will try anything once.
I am the proud mother of a very compassionate, creative, sweet little girl, Izabella. She will be double digits this year and I do my best to keep up with her. Though I had her very young, she has saved my life. She reminds me daily of all that is peaceful and joyful. Children are truly sacred, there is no other love that can compare.
I love all forms of art, dance, and theatre. I surround myself with artists, dancers, singers, musicians, and other performers. In my youth I did a great deal of drawing and sketching with different mediums. I am currently training in Muay Thai Boxing and long distance running. I also create a weekly church bulletin for St. Paul First Seventh Day Adventist Church. I am embarking on a new journey with Native Hoop Magazine this year and plan to travel around the Midwest to different pow wows. I am interested to explore more tribes and cultures along the way.
I have been capturing beauty through a camera lens for the last five years. I was encouraged by my fiancé, Alex, to pursue these passions and share them more with others. My life’s goal now is to show the world its beauty, its wonders, and its people with the chance to light up someone else’s spirit with hope.