My fathers understanding of Greatest Echo, is that this supernatural being has the ability to echo the past and bring it into the future. We dance the Greatest Echo masks to remind ourselves of our responsibility to learn the knowledge of the previous generations and to make that knowledge meaningful in our daily lives.
Yellow is echoed in each of these paintings. It represents the knowledge of our ancestors. Our knowledge was strong before contact. It was passed from generation to generation without threat. Attempts to assimilate us and erase our identities through colonization resulted in our knowledge being muted; this was a dark period in our history. However, despite this, we continued to pass on our knowledge to our children. Today, our connection to this ancient knowledge is emerging once again. We must continue to move forward, but, as my tsinii told my father, “You have to look back once and a while to see where you came from, so you can always find your way back.”