I photographed a group of Hopi social dancers a year ago, the group mostly from Hotvilla a village on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona is named Nuvatukya’ovi Sinom. Some of these photographs will be published in the September iSSue of ARIZONA HIGHWAYS.
John Running photographed the Hopi Dance Group - “Nuvatukya’ovi Sinom” on the 4th & 5th of July, 2009. This year again he had a unique opportunity when the group “Nuvatukya’ovi Sinom” was scheduled to perform at Heritage Square during the Fourth of July weekend. He invited them to use the Flagstaff Photography Center to change into their traditional dance clothes and then set up a studio space and made these photos prior to and after their performances. He had the oppotunity to photograph three different dances, Clown Dance, Rainbow Dance and the Watermaiden Dance.
John Running has been photographing American Indians throughout his forty year career as a freelance photographer. His book “Honor Dance” celebrates his work with Native Americans. National Geographic Photographer, William Albert Allard wrote the following about him in the preface to “Honor Dance”.
Running is perhaps best known for his photographs of Indians, but instead of considering himself a specialist, he considers himself to be simply a photographer of people. This is an important distinction. The kind of approach this photographer takes in his work is transferable to any part of the world, to any society. He is never just photographing the trappings of religious beliefs or the costumes of ideology; he is always photographing human beings.