Nakotah LaRance had all the moves.
Nakotah LaRance had all the moves.
Sonwai LaRance learned to hoop dance from her brother. She performs around the world with Cirque du Soleil.
Sonwai LaRance learned to hoop dance from her brother. She performs around the world with Cirque du Soleil.
Marian Denipah and Steve LaRance: parents, artists, homesteaders, caregivers, and very hip, special people.
Marian Denipah and Steve LaRance: parents, artists, homesteaders, caregivers, and very hip, special people.
Marian with her daughter Nizhoni and sister Carol, in the wheelchair.
Marian with her daughter Nizhoni and sister Carol, in the wheelchair.
Nizhoni models a friend's design at Indian Market Native Fashion show. In her other life, she is a doctor of otolaryngology.
Nizhoni models a friend's design at Indian Market Native Fashion show. In her other life, she is a doctor of otolaryngology.
Nizhoni's daughter,  Shadé-Phea Denipah-Young, tossing the hoops on the farm.
Nizhoni's daughter, Shadé-Phea Denipah-Young, tossing the hoops on the farm.
Shadé with her hoops.
Shadé with her hoops.
Steve and Marian with sheep and goats on their farm on the Rio Grande.
Steve and Marian with sheep and goats on their farm on the Rio Grande.
Steve's jewelry studio.
Steve's jewelry studio.
A cuff with corn design, tufa cast with turquoise by Steve.
A cuff with corn design, tufa cast with turquoise by Steve.
A coral and silver pendant, tufa-cast by Steve.
A coral and silver pendant, tufa-cast by Steve.
Nakotah LaRance, much missed, beautiful soul.
Nakotah LaRance, much missed, beautiful soul.
Nakota and Sonwai at a spontaneous dance performance.
Nakota and Sonwai at a spontaneous dance performance.
Nakotah performs in 2009.
Nakotah performs in 2009.
With the Ligtning Boy Foundation, Nakotah mentored young hoopsters.
With the Ligtning Boy Foundation, Nakotah mentored young hoopsters.
Steve beats the drum as Nakotah spins the hoops, 2009.
Steve beats the drum as Nakotah spins the hoops, 2009.
Steve, far left, emcees the Lightning Boy Hoop Foundation performance at Indian Market.
Steve, far left, emcees the Lightning Boy Hoop Foundation performance at Indian Market.
Marian in her corn field.
Marian in her corn field.
Hopi blue corn.
Hopi blue corn.
Pendant with coral and druzy by Marian.
Pendant with coral and druzy by Marian.
Cree submits his jewelry for judging at Santa Fe India Market.
Cree submits his jewelry for judging at Santa Fe India Market.
Marian, Cree and Steve at their Indian Market booth.
Marian, Cree and Steve at their Indian Market booth.
Marian in a Mandalorian mask for Pasatiempo magazine.
Marian in a Mandalorian mask for Pasatiempo magazine.
Marian adjusts Sonwai's outfit by Patricia Michaels.
Marian adjusts Sonwai's outfit by Patricia Michaels.
Sonwai with her hoops.
Sonwai with her hoops.
Sonwai in Patricia Michaels, Water Lily Design.
Sonwai in Patricia Michaels, Water Lily Design.
Sonwai on the old Rio Grande bridge near the homestead.
Sonwai on the old Rio Grande bridge near the homestead.
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.