Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – PowWow Portraits

This week, Tina has suggested that we Choose our own theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. In this, the season of goodwill, I thought this little story was rather apt.

I often wonder what my Great-Grandmother would have made of these portraits. She and my mother were very close, right up until her death just days before my mother got married in 1936. She shared many stories about her life and this is one that my mother passed on to me.

In 1873, when Alice was only 16 years old, she, her husband and two-month-old son boarded the Hibernian and set sail from England for a new life in Canada. From what I can make out from records that I obtained from Ancestry, they lived somewhere in the Cobourg area of Ontario.

I don’t know what conditions were like in Cobourg at that time but the family was probably only just making a living and, after three years, Alice was already expecting her second child. She recounted to my mother how one day a North American Indian came to their door with what she at first took to be a knife. I can only assume that she had good reason to be, as she recalled, terrified, but when she realized that it was only a spoon and that he had come in the hopes of obtaining some food, they readily shared their meal.

Being the family historian, that story has always intrigued me and for a long time I wanted to visit an American Indian Pow Wow just to get a sense of the traditions and customs. This year was our second opportunity to experience a Pow Wow and the gentleman in the last picture very kindly offered my daughter, granddaughter and myself shelter from the freezing rain under one of the organizers’ tents. We were very grateful and at that moment I felt like our family history had come full circle, with one good turn being repaid by another.

Wishing you all the blessings of the season.

22 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – PowWow Portraits

  1. that is a wonderful story Sue, accompanies by beautiful images. If only the world of today were as kind as that of your mother and grandmother. And BTW, how very sad that your grandmother passed just before your mother married. Hopefully it helped her to pass in peace knowing that your mother would be happy and have a partner to share her life with.

    • Many thanks, Tina! Mum told me once that they kept the news of her grandmother’s death from her until after the wedding as it would have spoiled her big day. I wish I could have known Alice as it seemed like she had a very interesting life, although they apparently weren’t very happy in Canada and returned home to England shortly after her daughter was born.

  2. Thank you for sharing your lovely family memory. It’s very heart warming to know that simple actions can mean so much. Every photo shows a strong personality and I’m sure each with a story to tell. I’d love to know more about each and every one and their family histories too. I love following your posts and I look forward to 2022 to seeing more of your wonderful photos. Best wishes.

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