20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Daniel Olrun, 1939-2020.

Daniel Olrun poses for a portrait in his home in the native village of Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island, Alaska. Born in 1939 in a village that no longer exists, Daniel passed away on his wife Prudy’s 80th birthday, shortly after celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary (when this photo was taken). My heart is heavy for his family and the community, heavy at the passing of another elder, whose experiences and memories now must exist second hand, and my heart aches especially for Prudy, who was like a grandmother to me and who shared with Daniel a love story for the ages. In the few times I got to talk with him, I appreciated his humble stoicism, wisdom and gentle kindness, but also with his humor that came out in delightful flashes.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Native Village of Mekoryuk, Alaska, United States of America
Copyright: © Kris Cheng