Shinnecock Portrait Project - Picturing Ourselves

This photograph, dating back to 1884, captures one of the earliest group gatherings of the Shinnecock people. Ironically, the caption accompanying this image falsely portrays them as 'The Last of the Shinnecock Indians.' The perpetuation of this erasure and the narrative of a vanishing culture persistently inflicts emotional wounds within Indigenous communities.
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About

Shinnecock Photo Project attempts to reinforce our connection to the land and aims to present ourselves in a web-based portraiture platform. This project is led by enrolled Shinnecock Indian Nation tribal member photographer Jeremy Dennis.

The Shinnecock Portrait Project is made possible with Special thanks to MDOC Storyteller’s Institute hosted at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, in June 2018.

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Legacy Photos
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Contemporary Shinnecock Portraits & Interviews

Vincent Cuffee

Vincent’s portrait was part of Public Art Fund’s Art on the Grid exhibit throughout New York City. Read more here: https://www.publicartfund.org/exhibitions/view/art-on-the-grid-july27/ Vincent Cuffee: My name is Vincent Cuffee. My parents are Eugene and Mabel Cuffee. I’m born and raised here my whole life. Jeremy Dennis: Do you mind describing yourself in terms of profession and maybe how you chose it? V: I just like being outside really. Anything I do is outside. I’ve always been outside, you know,

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Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams: My name is Marcus Drew Williams, I am son to Mitchell and Vanessa Williams, one of the triplets. I’m a Shinnecock member. I’m also one of the firstborn triplets of the Shinnecock Nation. My grandfather is Donald Williams. His eldest brother, Harry, was trustee for over 27 years, probably 30 years and hopefully, that continues in my family with my brother Maurice now running for trustee as well in this upcoming election. I’m a freelance associate

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Bryan Polite

Bryan Polite | Shinnecock Tribal Chairman Jeremy: Would you introduce who you are and your title in your nation? Brian: Sure! I am Chairman of the Council of Trustees, which is the head of the Shinnecock Indian Nation government. J: And we are sitting now in your business, do you want to talk a bit about where we are? B: Sure, we are currently in Raindrops Cafe. We do table cuisine, we have coffee from over three continents

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Nicky Dennis-Banks

Interview with my cousin Nicky Banks. We talk about his life, the reservation, and future projects. Please enjoy! Nicole Dennis Banks: Aquay – My name is Nicole Dennis Banks. My native name is Shanowa, which means White Dove, and I am the daughter of Doreen and David, also the granddaughter of Avery “Chief Eagle Eye” Dennis. I took great honor in carrying on my grandfather’s legacy of becoming the first woman to be a tribal leader to the

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Tohanash Tarrant

An interview with Tohanash Tarrant. We speak about bead work, family, owning a business, and growing up on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.

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Chenae

Chenae Bullock is a Shinnecock Tribal Member, historian, activist, Powwow dancer and vendor. In our interview, she spoke about her experience living on and off the reservation, the DAPL Water Protectors, and her life on the water. Chenae: My name is Chenae Bullock, I am the daughter of Ester Lee, granddaughter of Ferdinand and Thelma Lee of the Shinnecock Tribe. I am an activist, traditionalist, historian, and indigenous woman. I currently do work within heritage and cultural preservation.

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Browse Legacy Photos Below

The Shinnecock Portrait Project follows the footsteps of tribal members who have been the subject of portrait photographs or have been photographers themselves.

These portraits instill a sense of ancestral pride and an example of the urgency and purpose in preserving our image for future generations. Our image, stories, and resilience are part of our legacy and memory.