Art tells Native American story In this Monday Oct. 10, 2016, photo, Craig Howe, executive director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, talks about one of the 16 pieces that are part of a traveling art exhibit now on display in Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP Photo/Regina Garcia Cano)
Art tells Native American story
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A traveling exhibit that pairs Native American art with passages of a traditional story narrating the emergence of the Lakota people in the Black Hills of South Dakota is on display. It can be seen in Sioux Falls.
 
The exhibit is titled "Lakota Emergence." It presents a traditional belief. It is that the ancestors of the Lakota people emerged to this world through what is now known as Wind Cave National Park. The park is in southwest South Dakota. It divides the story into 16 passages. They pair each chapter with a piece created by a Lakota artist specifically for this project.
 
"We do a lot of work trying to mitigate racism. And so, one idea was to do an exhibit not with that as its intention but with that as a possible outcome," said Craig Howe. He is executive director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies. "The hope is that people are excited about this narrative. It shows a narrative that is linked to a particular place in our state, the Black Hills, and is a shared landscape. All of us know that landscape, Indians and non-Indians. The exhibit foregrounds that place."
 
The Lakota are one of three divisions of Native Americans. The French referred to them as the Sioux. The division involves seven tribal nations. They live in the northern Great Plains.
 
The 1,251-word narrative at the center of the exhibit was gathered by a physician. He was serving the Pine Ridge area. It was published almost a century ago by the American Museum of Natural History. The story includes tales of deception. There also are stories of love, shame, misery and risks.
 
Howe's organization is based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It acknowledges that the narrative is one of only two stories out of the dozens gathered by the physician James Walker not attributed specifically to the spiritual leaders or others who shared information with him. But, Howe said, a careful reading of the narrative correlates with other Lakota stories. They suggest that the narrative originated with the Lakotas. It was not made up by Walker.
 
The traveling exhibit is on display at Avera Health's Prairie Center. The center is in Sioux Falls. The display consists of panels. Each shows true-to-size photos of the original exhibit. These debuted in Rapid City last year. The organization created it because the panels require far less care than the original collection. The collection includes paintings, wood carving work, a glass mosaic and mixed media pieces.
 
Howe said his organization's goal is to take the traveling exhibit to tribal schools and other venues. One is Avera's medical center. The exhibit will teach children and adults this traditional story.
 
A traveling version of the exhibit can go to communities to get this in front of Lakota people, he noted.
 
"Most American Indians don't know this narrative. Most Lakotas don't know the narrative. They know a little bit about it. But here's a chance it can be educational for community people."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How can art reduce racism?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (24)
  • joshlins-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:00 p.m.

    Art tells a story, the way I look at it. But the way it can stop racism is the way you look at it, the way it tells the story. Art is fascinating how it can be just a drawing but yet it tells a story or something behind it, maybe it could even be a legend. Like how cave men or native people carved things into stone walls like a scene from the movie called "ice age". There's a story in those carvings.

  • miguele-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:02 p.m.

    They should not be racism because the color of the pictures makes them happy. The slavery that makes them racism they make people draw and do stuff. So they should not be mean just cause there color is different doesn't mean you have to be really mean. The white people try to make the other color skin people make stuff for them. They just want them to do stuff for them that is not right.

  • michellem-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:03 p.m.

    I think because they do lots of work to mitigate racism. most people don't even know about the narrative but theirs a chance that it can be educational for community people.and they can teach the children about history of narratives. Their collection were panting wood and carving work. One idea was to an exhibit not with that intention

  • vanessar-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:04 p.m.

    Craig Howe is useing art to stop racism by because he thinks that art has much color and more care into the world and art is just much happiness into people and make them fill more care into the world and other people's lives to help them understand I agree with useing art to stop racism and more hope into the world.

  • anahir-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:05 p.m.

    Art reduce racism by doing a lot of work trying mitigate racism.
    They Also names a a hill "Black Hills". Another way is by Doing Art so they forget about it. The division also involves seven tribal nations.They also said that the organization's goal is to take the traveling exhibit to tribal schools and other venues.

  • davidf1-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:05 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism by the people who do a lot of work trying to miligate by calling other the color of their skin and not calling other people that are black and it doesn't matter if their black that the people that were born black and that's not nice everybody is different from the skin and it's not nice when white people don't let black people to their school because of their skin.

  • amayah-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:05 p.m.

    I think art could reduce racism because each picture tells a tale and then that would probably change their mind about them then they wont hate them because of their skin and color they will be kind to each other

  • lizbethgu-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:07 p.m.

    Most of the Lakotas didn't really know about the Native American but some do know about the Native American.a traveling is a version that is the exhibit.most of the Native American don't know about Indians. But there could be on chance for Native American.there could be one more chance.
    They could reduce by doing art.

  • mariav-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:07 p.m.

    By not make fun of them because it could hurt it feeling you should like everyone it does not mater of the color of the skin it mater of the feeling because if I have a friend with color it does not mater like I said

  • marcob-san
    11/04/2016 - 12:08 p.m.

    They reduce racism by helping them or drawing their skin color they don't like it when they they look at them like you don't like them because you will hurt their feelings.

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