Moccasin, Tepees and Trees, Washita County

Terry Zinn

Both Moccasin photographs are sepia tone prints originally displayed as part of the “Last Pow Wow” show at the Kirkpatrick Center in 1982. The show was dedicated to John, Alice and Yvonne Kauger and all Native Americans seeking to preserve their heritage. “Last Pow Wow” refers to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Labor Day Pow Wow held each year in Colony since World War II. Pow wows offer a unique fusion of ceremonial and social celebrations, providing the opportunity to wear traditional clothing like moccasins. Tiny seed beads sewn by hand create intricate designs, elevating the moccasins from footwear to treasured objects. The same pair are often worn year after year for ceremonial dances.

Tepees and Trees was also taken at the Last Pow Wow, and later published in Oklahoma Today’s Summer 1983 issue. When attending pow wows away from home, families still camp in tepees not unlike the ones their ancestors used on the plains hundreds of years ago. Washita County depicts the quiet solitude of western Oklahoma. The county was created in 1900 as part of Oklahoma Territory from former Cheyenne and Arapaho lands and named for the Washita River. It offers the setting for the Last Pow Wow and is the home county of Justice Yvonne Kauger.

Artist Terry Zinn selected sepia tone because it evokes images of vintage photographs, preserving a moment in time so it will never fade from memory. As a freelance travel writer and photographer, Zinn has captured images of people and places from around the world. His work has been exhibited in many Oklahoma venues, including the State Capitol and has also appeared in national publications. Zinn donated the images to the Oklahoma Judicial Center Collection. He has worked in Photo Archives at the Oklahoma Historical Society since 1988. In 2007, three of his independent projects were recognized as Official Oklahoma Centennial Projects ~ All I Ever Wanted to be Was Tall (Life and Times of Oklahoma Artist Harold Stevenson), Home is Oklahoma (A Centennial Poem/Lyric) and a book, Oklahoma a Rich Heritage (contributed photographs). His travel writing and photography were awarded recognition at both the 2004 and 2007 Travel Media Showcases, voted on by 70 international exhibitors. Zinn’s “Martini Travels” is an ongoing photographic portfolio of beverages in worldwide locales which he began in 1995.

Source: “Pow wow: Heart of Indian Summertime,” Oklahoma Today, Summer 1983; “The Last Pow Wow,” Oklahoma Today, Summer 1983; personal correspondence, May 2013.