"Proud Moments," a photography and poetry book on American Indians by Brigham Young University professor Howard Rainer, has received favorable reviews and the publishers say it is on its way to selling out its first printing.
A Taos Pueblo Indian from New Mexico, Rainer is assistant director of American Indian Services at BYU."It has long seemed to me that all too often the portraits of Indians taken by whites give us the faces on guard against the stranger," New York Times best-selling author Tony Hillerman wrote in a review of the book. "This isn't true of Rainer's portraits, most notably not true of those he presents of his friends and neighbors of Taos Pueblo. In `Proud Moments,' the camera is looking into the eyes of friends."
Published by Beautiful America of Wilsonville, Ore., the book is on sale in Salt Lake bookstores and throughout the United States. Mary Hayworth, a representative of the publisher, said more than half of the 10,000 books from the first printing have been sold, and the company is considering a second printing.
Jay Bail, in "The Book Reader," called Rainer's effort "beautifully published, beautifully written, beautifully photographed."
Hillerman said Rainer is the son of one of the Taos Pueblo Indians' most prominent leaders.
Rainer's work with American Indian Services has taken him throughout the United States and Canada and into the Northwest Territories, delivering motivational seminars to Indian people. He takes his cameras wherever he goes.
"I never stop striving to take that one shot that will stand alone with its own individual statement portraying Indian people with the dignity they rightfully deserve," said Rainer.
"I see a lot of ill and things that hurt me, but when I raise my camera up it helps me find people who are still shining dignity.
"When I see that look (of inner strength, vision and power) I go after it. That doesn't come by living an easy life. They haven't been defeated; they haven't been conquered."
His photography has been displayed in national magazines and at art exhibits. Many of his prints are on display through December in the Harman Building Conference Center on the BYU campus.