Dec 11, 2007

Two-Spirit: Wedding

A traditional American Indian gay wedding.

In September of 2007, I photographed a traditional Blackfeet Two-Spirit wedding. The traditional ceremony was held at Seeley Lake in western Montana. I recorded interviews and field sounds, mixing both photos and audio for this presentation.

Two-Spirit is a contemporary name given to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender American Indians. Two-Spirit refers to the holistic relationship between both genders in one individual. Worldwide, many indigenous tribes traditional celebrated Two-Spirit people, Two-Spirits often held important decision-making positions and were sought out for spiritual advice.

These open gender roles conflicted with the Christian ideology of the first European explorers, and due to assimilation Two-Spirit people became repressed. For the past 20 years there has been a return of Two-Spirit peoples. Many American Indians, especially elders, look at this as a missing link in healing the Circle of Life.

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