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


COMMENTS (85)
  • briannap1-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:42 p.m.

    Some ways that art can reduce racism is because of the things that it shows about that culture. It tells of the territories of the Indians and how it became that way. These pictures tell stories and "these stories tell of love, deception, shame, misery, and risks." Most people don't know about these narratives and don't understand them. Every person could be educated from these narratives whether you are a Lakota Indian or not. Communities will better understand the Indians and their culture this way, so there won't be so much racial conflict. This is another way that art can reduce racism.

  • marielc-ric
    10/31/2016 - 03:42 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because then people will be interested in this kind of culture, but also teach the people something about this culture as well. " '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.' "

  • monserrator-ric
    10/31/2016 - 05:17 p.m.

    will I never knew that the art can tell you native American story's. And i thought it was cool that they told you that. And also said that "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".

  • emilyc1-ric
    10/31/2016 - 05:34 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because, in the text it says "it shows a narrative that is linked in a particular place in our state, the black hills, and is a shared landscape". This show people that there culture is very important to them. This will show people that you should not criticize someone for their beliefs or their looks. Their arts show how talented they are and they let out their feelings in the arts. From that people will see that you should not cause racism. That is why art can reduce racism.

  • tarenr-ric
    10/31/2016 - 08:24 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because people can use art to paint pictures about people coming together and joining as one. Also, it doesn't even just have to be painting or drawing, people can use music or poetry as art. ""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." I think are could be a great way to stop racism because you could use the styles of art I mentioned above and try to share it with everyone to send a message to everyone. People don't and shouldn't change their mind and attitudes after something bad happens and art could be a way for a lot of people to notice.

  • hayleem-ric
    10/31/2016 - 09:15 p.m.

    Art can can reduce racism by telling the stories of people without their color or features, when people are being artistic and making art there is no color of skin, you cannot tell who is making the artwork, you can't tell what they look like or what color they are it is just beauty and a way the show people's individual creativity. A great majority of art made is made based off of their story. Some people paint to tell a story to tell a story that otherwise can't or is hard to tell, there is no racial judgement or bias when you look at art you see creativity but no face, race, or any people characteristics all you see is what they created.

  • sydneyb1-ric
    11/01/2016 - 08:50 a.m.

    Art can reduce racism by giving a new look in different ways. Like having stories being told in paintings and sculptures. They can bring people together as one. Plus, many people all over the world can see the art and experience it.

  • bradleyg-stu
    11/01/2016 - 12:59 p.m.

    I never knew that art could tell use storys, I just thought that it was for fun and look

  • addiey-ric
    11/01/2016 - 01:17 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism by illustrating the lives of different races. This can show other people what other races lives are like. Art can demonstrate different situations in different ways. They can make some things easier to understand. And there are artist of all different races. That way there are illustrations for all varieties of cultures.

  • jennab-ric
    11/01/2016 - 01:19 p.m.

    Art can reduce racism because if people do art from there own country we can all learn what it is like in there own country. In the story it talks about how people from all over the world can teach everyone about their culture and where they came from. Also about how the guy in story says that there is a lot of people from different countries stell their story. Also to show people what it is like in different places.

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