19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
Hįnu tą’i skunyi - Otoe: Missing Daughter

Why We Wear Red: Its multifaceted meaning is powerful to our people. Throughout our culture this fiery color is used in our ceremonial paints, represented in our traditions and most importantly our elders remind us that this color is the only one that spirits can see. In creating ‘Hįnu tą’i skunyi’ I commissioned a bright red dress to represent the MMIW (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women) whose souls are still wandering. Our hope is that these lost spirits will see this color and find their way home. Seated is a modern-day Indigenous woman who is clothed in her traditions,yet lives a contemporary life. We are not relics of the past, we are important citizens of today.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States of America
Copyright: © Benjamin West