Marian Denipah (Navajo-Ohkay Owingeh) and Steve Wikviya LaRance (Hopi-Assiniboine) live on the family homestead along the Rio Grande across from Ohkay Ohwingeh (San Juan Pueblo) in New Mexico. In addition to growing corn, squash and melons, and raising goats and sheep, they are world class artists and parents of a very talented brood. Daughter Dr. Nizhoni Denipah is an Otolaryngologist and has a daughter, Shade-Phea. Son Cree is a jeweler and exhibits with his parents. Their other daughter, Shandien Sonwai LaRance, is a Champion Hoop Dancer and tours with Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" show. Nakota LaRance, tragically left us in 2020. He was a 9-Time Winner of the World Championship of Hoop Dance, toured the world with Cirque du Soleil and mentored Native youth in the hoop dance traditions.
This amazing family, full of laughter, love, and talent who give generously of their time, energy and the fruits of their homestead, who observe their Native traditions with grace and commitment, who are equally at home on the pueblo as on the streets of Tokyo, who are both hip and traditional, and who have overcome tragedy, disabilities and hardships, personify to me the full life, well lived.
I am honored to know them all.