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Fischer, Joan (ed.) / Wisconsin people & ideas
Volume 52, Number 2 (Spring 2006)

Herzog, Melanie
Dancing in two worlds: the portraits of Tom Jones,   pp. 33-42

Page 41

an IIPr in 
Choka Burning Trash, 
enriches, and adds to our spiritual well- 
Masayesva also notes that for Native photographers, 
"refraining from photographing certain subjects has become a 
kind of worship," for he points out that while Hopi photogra- 
phers desire to photograph dances and ceremonial events 
that should not be photographed, to do so would threaten 
Hopi survival. This is an issue with which photographers from 
all Native communities must contend. 
During the summer of 2003, Tom Jones began to photograph 
in the Ho-Chunk Medicine Lodge. While his earlier work was 
intimate in its familiarity with his subjects, this new work 
includes aspects of Ho-Chunk life that should not be seen by 
outsiders, or should be seen only under certain conditions. As 
Jones points out, photographs made of the Medicine Lodge by 
non-Native photographers in the late 1800s and early 1900s 
were marketed as stereoscope cards or postcards. Wisconsin 
photographer and entrepreneur H. H. Bennett (1843-1908), 
well known for his photographs of the Wisconsin Dells land- 
2000, by Tom Jones 
scape and of Ho-Chunk people, photographed the Medicine 
Lodge and sold these images as stereoscope cards.xix 
"So the tribe has allowed photographs to be taken of this 
event, but what I think it comes down to is trust; how are 
these images going to be used and are they going to be used 
against us in any way," says Jones. As Victor Masayesva says, 
this is a matter of survival; Jones emphasizes that when the 
U.S. government outlawed Native American religious practices 
in the late 1800s, such photographs taken by outsiders served 
as evidence to prosecute and imprison the individuals in the 
"This is a contributing factor as to why so many tribes lost 
their traditional ways and why others took them underground 
and insisted that there be no photographs taken of any tradi- 
tional ceremonies," Jones says. He also notes, "Our tribe has 
purchased the original H. H. Bennett glass negatives of the 
Medicine Lodge images back from the Bennett family. This 
form of photographic repatriation by the Ho-Chunk Nation 
takes repatriation to a new level of cultural ownership 
and rights."- 

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