Gwayakwaadiziwin (Honesty) Orator
The Orator is one of the main characters in the procession and the only player who speaks to the people, like a messenger. Each Orator speaks on behalf of one of the Seven Grandfather teachings through a commissioned spoken word poem inspired by it. These poems are delivered by megaphone at key moments during the procession as it flows down University Avenue. Each “word warrior” is paired with Deaf/HOH youth who sign each of the poems in ASL. The Orator’s costume is uniquely designed for the individual who plays each role and encapsulates both the spirit of the teaching but also the personality of the poet. Aliyah Savannah Burey, a.k.a. “Suvianna,” from Jane-Finch plays the Orator for Honesty.
Here are a selection of Marlon Griffith’s initial sketches, artistic renderings, technical drawings, and images of the design process and creation of the costume for Honesty’s Orator. Suvianna wears an entirely white costume and an intricately patterned, hand-made plastic mask adorned with iridescent pearls, beads, and rhinestones that continues Honesty’s hummingbird motif.