Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Two Things Challenge: Colo{u}ful / Words

This week's challenge at Two Things Challenge is: colo{u}rful and words. Here are my offerings.

Ceremonial dresses, Dressing as Identity, National Museum of the American Indian

58,195 dead or presumed dead

The toughest part of this challenge was finding something that showed the power of words and would be thought-provoking. I almost included the headstone of Leonard Matlovich, whose epithet is stirring. Then I thought about a picture of founder and patriot George Mason, whose words in the Virginia Declaration of Rights would serve as the template for the Declaration of Independence. In the end, though, I had to come back to Washington's most iconic collection of words: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It has been called, "the ugly gash that healed a nation." It remains the most emotional and riveting memorial in Washington.

For colo{u}rful, I could have gone any number of routes. I thought of being stereotypical and posting pictures of the Festival of Lights at the Mormon Temple in Kensington. Then I thought about going down to Ben's Chili Bowl and snapping photos of the lunch crowd in all their diversity. I settled on this picture of ceremonial dresses on display at the National Museum of the American Indian because the colors were so rich and vibrant and the bead work is literally breathtaking.

There you have it. My first contribution to the Two Things Weekly Challenge!

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 12/07


Lara said...

impressive! both have lots of history and lots of people behind.

Bev said...

This is great! You can't get much more colourful, and you couldn't get a more meaningful collection of words.

Bobbie said...

Love your entries. Both beautiful photography and very meaningful. Thanks for joining in!

dianeclancy said...

These are very powerful entries!! Thank you for sharing them! I love the color of the ceremonial dresses!

~ Diane Clancy

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Wow. I love your words entry for the challenge. A very powerful piece of photography. I also like the native American costumes. Are they 'for real' or replicas? I would just love to get up close and really check them out!

D.C. Confidential said...

Diane: Thank you! The choices were tough, but I like these one for their beauty, honesty, and voices.

Lisa: Yes, the dresses are "for real." There's an entire exhibit hall in the National Museum of the American Indian that features a collection of approx. 75-100 dresses. What I didn't include in this picture where the headdresses that were mounted above these pieces. They, too, were striking! If you're in/near D.C., be sure to visit the NMAI. It's worth the time!

Debi said...

I'm sorry I'm one of the last to get around to commenting on your 2 Things photos. I looked at them the first day and because I was rushed, I knew I would postpone in order to come back with more time to give them proper consideration.

I love both. It's fabulous to see those colors of real Native American dress -- especially considering that old John Wayne films do injustice to their fabulous variety (you'd think there was only bare-chested Apaches in America). These are proof postive of skill, talent, and love of color!

The Words entry kept me fascinated and still does. I've seen photos of the VVM, of course, but this one kept me looking for a long time. I like that you can just make out some of the names. I like how you used a vanishing point to show the impact of what 60,000 names must be. I adore the fact that you can see so much reflection in the monument -- caused me to think how children of Vets might see their own reflection when they look at their dad's name. I liked the peaceful symmetry of it -- what a counterbalance to the loss of so many lives, so many nights of grief for the families. This photo is one of THOSE photos that continual gives, even after you come back again and again.

I'm so glad you joined 2 Things -- I look forward to your next entries, and enjoying your blog between challenges!

D.C. Confidential said...

Lara: I couldn't agree more!

Bev: Thank you! And amen.

Bobbie: My pleasure! I enjoyed doing this. Looking forward to next week's two words!

Debi: I'm really enjoying the challenge. (Of course, I've only done one.) Looking forward to this weeks!

The VVM is incredibly moving. I've watched really tough, grown men cry like little kids here. It's very, very moving and--dare I say it without sounding maudlin--spiritual. It's like you can see transformation before your eyes. This memorial is as holy as a church, if you ask me!

Anyway, thank you for your comments! Looking forward to more Two Things Challenges!