Shannon Shaw Duty, artist
We.Tsee.Ko in Osage means grandfather. My grandfather George Shannon is 85 years old. The Hominy District was the only District to have their E.Lonshka this year. My grandfather dressed on Thursday afternoon at Hominy, and we were very scared for him. We didn’t want him to get sick from COVID-19, but we couldn’t stop him.
As the first song started, he got up. We thought he might just dance in place, but he actually danced around the drum. I didn’t think I would ever see that again, and it made us all very emotional. And then, for the rest of the dance, he danced around the drum several more times.
So after, I told him I wanted to take his portrait. I framed him in front of the Hominy Round House – our last round house in the Osage. I framed it as I have seen other portraits of our elders and our Little Old Men and their beaver caps. When I got home, I realized what a profound photo I had taken of my grandfather. So, I edited it. With utter joy—I mean utter joy – I showed it to my friends and family.
I chose this photo because it was taken during COVID, and it was at our E.Lonshka. There was a lot of sadness in our community because the Grayhorse and Pawhuska Districts chose not to have their E.Lonshkas due to the virus. So, that’s why I chose this. I thought it might bring some joy and some beauty – our Osage beauty – that we have in our traditional clothing to the exhibit.
819 Grandview Ave. Pawhuska, OK 74056 (918) 287-5441 firstname.lastname@example.org