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 that narrates 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 the traditional belief 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 that the French referred to 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, 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 and was not made up by Walker.
 
The traveling exhibit is on display at Avera Health's Prairie Center in Sioux Falls. It consists of panels that show 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 that 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, such as Avera's medical center, to teach children and adults this traditional story.
 
"We really were trying to get to this point where we could have two exhibits; a museum quality exhibit that can go to any museum in the United States or the world and a traveling version that can go to communities to get this in front of Lakota people," Howe said.
 
"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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COMMENTS (86)
  • anag-stu
    10/26/2016 - 12:00 p.m.

    i never knew that art can tell native American storys i thought that was very cool i never know that thats something i have to look up and see more about it

  • chloeo-stu
    10/26/2016 - 01:02 p.m.

    I just think that is so amazing because so many art say something but we dont even realize it.

  • jennyc1-stu
    10/26/2016 - 05:53 p.m.

    I'm interested that this guy can tell a story just from one little painting
    That's really interesting.

  • hayleel-ste
    10/27/2016 - 01:17 p.m.

    Art is a way to express yourself individually, everyone that does art most likely has a story behind their piece. Most of the time they do projects that have meaning to them or tell a story maybe that they cant express in words. so its understandable maybe the African American people cant communicate in words so they used art pieces. Nobody will know except the person creating.

  • joev-stu
    10/27/2016 - 04:24 p.m.

    I wonder what launguage it is told in is it told in a native american language.

  • kristinaj-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:08 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because the outcome of the painting could mitigate racism instead of that as the painting's meaning. "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 painting's desired outcome is to help decrease racism it isn't the paintings meaning.

  • oscarg-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:20 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism by how seeing that how art is and comes from many different people of races. This matches how that art comes in many ways but are created by people.So as we as humans can reduce racism in this way possible because of the ways on how art is favored by a lot of people as in how different races had created their art.Also this would help by seeing that art comes in many forms possible this would relate to the different races of people who are different from each other.

  • khyonc-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:25 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because it can make people respect other races. People judge other races by the way they talk or their arts and traditions but art can change people's minds and perspectives on other races. Art that people see can describe other races and show people the differences in other races and get them to respect that. Art can also inspire young artists to make more art based around other races to get them to respect those races and see them in a good way.

  • gavinp1-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:25 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because it can help people realize equality in shared land. Craig Howe explained that "one idea was to do an exhibit not with that as its intention but with that as a possible outcome." It also explains how if it is linked to the Black Hills which everyone knows and not just indians live there so it will be targeted there. It means how if they can make art that is exciting about that area it could reduce discrimination.

  • micaht-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:31 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism by showing the good ways of people. It tells people about their story and what they had to go through and when people understand that it can reduce racism. "Howe said his organization's goal is to take the traveling exhibit to tribal schools and other venues, such as Avera's medical center, to teach children and adults this traditional story." "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."

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