Ben  Marra

Gerrod Moses Goudy, Win-Wy-Tit (Great Hands in Battle)

For the last thirty years, Ben Marra has owned a commercial photography studio in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle, Washington. Working with many large and small corporations, he has provided images for their various architectural, industrial, product, and corporate advertising needs. Since 1988, Ben and his wife, Linda, have also focused on a personal photography project which has taken them throughout the West to document powwows and the shared cultural qualities that bind together the community of Native America.

Powwows celebrate the dances, singing and drumming of the first inhabitants of this land. In this setting, charged with energy and motion, Marra captures on film the magnificent color and excitement distinctive to each dancer. All photographs are created on location at powwows where nothing in the image is altered or contrived to fit myths or stereotypes.

Marra's work has been featured in numerous galleries and national magazines, and was recently included in Handbook of North American Indians, published by the Smithsonian Institution. His book, POWWOW - Images along the Red Road, published by Abrams, features 105 color photographs representing more than sixty tribes and nations. Spoken or written from the heart, the subjects' sincere words add another dimension to the stunning portraits. Recently, Marra received an Honorary Masters Degree from his alma mater, Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara, California, for his 14-year photo documentary project with Native Americans.

Dedicated to using his photographs to strengthen and perpetuate an appreciation for Native American culture, the Marra's produce two popular yearly calendars which are available to tribal youth organizations as fund-raising projects. They have also published a set of four limited edition lithographic prints called The Powwow Editions.

Ben is a 1962 graduate of the University of Idaho, with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. 

Ben Marra's Web Page