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Erika Larsen July 31, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Destiny and Daisy from the series; ‘People of the Horse’. Pendelton, Oregon 2012

Erika Larsen’s (b.1976 USA) work uses photography, video and writing to learn
 intimately about cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has been working as a magazine photographer since 2000 specializing in 
human-interest stories and sensitive cultural issues. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery,
 National Geographic Society, The Swedish Museum of Ethnography and Ajtte Sámi Museum. Erika’s first monograph, Sami-Walking With Reindeer, was released in 2013. Her work is represented by Redux Pictures. Erika is a recipient of several grants including a Fulbright Fellowship, New Jersey State Arts Council Fellowship, Women in Photography Individual Project Grant, Lois Roth Endowment and a World Press Award.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture as part of the series People of the Horse to illuminate the unique bond between the horse and Native American culture. Destiny is of the Wampum tribe and is depicted here with Daisy. I met Destiny and her brother Nakia for the first time in Pendleton, Oregon where she was taking part in the yearly Indian princess competition.  Even though the horse was first embraced for war, hunting and transport in time they became partners in pageantry and a way to show tribal pride. This tradition of pageantry is still very strong today. A year after I met Destiny I made arrangements to photograph her alone, away from the pageant. The first attempt was in the early evening and she and the horse were both dressed beautifully. But when we began to shoot, something spooked Daisy and in seconds Destiny was thrown in the mud and water and Daisy was also soaked. I was so impressed with her resolve as she rose from the mud, mounted and steadied the horse. However, I asked if we could arrange to shoot again the following day after the regalia had been cleaned.  In the early morning this image appeared.