February 16, 2013 – May 12, 2013
“Natinixwe: The Hupa People” combined historic black and white photos of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation community, taken by tribal member Ernest (Ernie) Leland Marshall Jr. (1913-1961), along with displays of ceremonial regalia made by his grandson, Bradley Marshall, and selected paintings by Hupa artist Loren Lavine.
The Hupa live in the northeast corner of Humboldt County on the largest reservation in the state of California. The Trinity River flows through the middle of the valley they inhabit; the river’s semiannual salmon runs are still an important part of the Hupa people’s lives. They have been unusually successful in maintaining and preserving their lifestyle and traditions in an era of rapid change when loss of tribal culture has been common. This is due in no small part to the efforts of individuals like Ernest Marshall Jr., a founding member of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Government (one of the first successful self-governing tribal structures in the nation). Marshall was also a photographer whose thousands of prints provide a well-rounded portrait of the lifestyle, ceremonies, and environment of the Hupa people, including compelling photographs of ceremonial dances such as the Boat Dance, the Brush Dance, and the White Deerskin Dance. While it is usually forbidden to take photos of the dances, the tribe gave Ernie Marshall special permission to do so.
Image: Hoopa Valley from Bald Hills, circa 1955.
Ernest Marshall, Jr., Photographer. Collection
of Bradley Marshall.