Collection: Patchogue-Medford Library – Digital PML
Type of Material: Photograph
Source: Scanned from the original photograph which is 10 inches in width and 8 inches in height. https://digitalpml.pmlib.org/search.php?search=item&item=341
Coverage/Location: Shinnecock Reservation, Southampton, N.Y. (Town)
Creator: Red Thunder Cloud [Cromwell Ashbie Hawkins West]
Copyright: No Known Copyright Restriction
The caption reads:
“This is an interesting study of two Shinnecock Indians as they chatted together in the old church back in 1944.
Charles S. Bunn and Fred Smith recall some amusing instances of yesteryear in their informal get-together. I have always found that older Indians among many tribes are only too willing to talk to the young people if only they show an interest in the older traditions. Time and time again I have seen the culture of Eastern Tribes lost merely because young folks had no time to bother with the older ones.
As the last remaining speaker of my own native Catawba Language, I can testify to this situation. My knowledge of the older Catawba tradition was the language was passed on to me by my grandfather because I followed him everywhere and was ready to listen to anything that he had to say. In my visits to other tribes, it was always the older people that I sought out and thus I have learned what I know from them.
No doubt these two old Shinnecocks pictured here could have contributed much to the young people if they had but taken some interest in these matters”