Sun in Pisin Mo’o-Julia Hanson

During my freshman year, I was part of a service trip that traveled to the Pisin Mo’o reservation in Arizona. The experience was eye opening and inspiring in countless ways, but something I found particularly interesting was the way in which religion, culture, and the younger generation of people on the reservation are intertwined. The first photo (top left) was taken of a church we saw on the first day of the trip at a fair. Most of the attendees of the fair were white tourists, which created a strange dynamic because they were essentially watching Native Americans not only perform exhibitions such as dance and art, but also doing normal things such as cooking and selling souvenirs. The second shot (top right) is of a cross located in the village we stayed at. Compared to the first church, this cross is much more barren and indicative of the part of the community which is not seen by tourists, or anyone besides those who live there. The bottom two shots are of the children, who were vibrant, smart, curious kids like any others. Their relationship to their culture and heritage, as well as religion and the challenges they face, is complicated and indicative of the struggle of the culture as a whole to progress despite serious challenges facing inhabitants of the reservation at any age.