Often photographs of Native Americans stereotype them as victims of poverty or "beads and feathers' powwow performers, says Lander, Wyo., photographer Sara Wiles. For that reason, she photographs Arapaho people in their everyday lives, both in moments of celebration and moments unadorned.
"If I wanted to
pick out pictures that made Arapaho tribal members ... look like
victims, I could do that," Wiles says. "But I chose not to do that
because, number one, I don't think that it is a terrible life.
There are a lot of really wonderful people and really strong
The Northern Arapahos were buffalo
hunters who left a nomadic way of life in 1878, to settle with the
Eastern Shoshone tribe on the Wind River Indian Reservation, in
what became the state of Wyoming.
selected 100 black-and-white photographs for the traveling exhibit,
"Ni½iihi½: In a Good Way, Photographs of the Wind River
Arapaho 1976-1996." It can be seen through May 3 at the Campbell
County Rockpile Museum in Gillette, Wyo.; May 30-July 26, at the
Robert Peck Art Center, Central Wyoming College, Riverton, Wyo.;
Aug. 22-Oct. 18, at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library,
Sheridan, Wyo.; May 1-June 27, 1999, at the Museum of the Mountain
Man, Pinedale, Wyo.; July 24-Sept. 19, 1999, at the Wyoming State
Museum, Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Oct. 1-Nov. 12, 1999, at the Community
Visual Arts Association, Jackson, Wyo. For more information,
contact the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, 720 Sheridan Ave.,
Cody, WY 82414 .