This is structured as an intensive, three-day workshop. During the workshop, you will get hands-on experience working with objects in the South Dakota Art Museum’s collections, read selected expressions of the interweaving of Lakota arts and identities, and have the unparalleled opportunity to critically and creatively incorporate these objects and words into exhibit-vignettes. In addition, there will be presentations on the origins and development of the Oceti Sakowin confederacy, Lakota history and culture, Visual Thinking Strategies, and American Indians in films.
Lakota Arts+Identities grows from the work of Lakota artist and author, Luther Standing Bear, who wrote that:
becoming possessed of a fitting philosophy and art, it was by them that Native man perpetuated his identity; stamped it into the history and soul of this country—made land and man one [1933, p. 247].
Our premise is that Lakota arts and identities are inextricably linked in a complex symbiotic relationship that can be critically studied intellectually and experientially. Lakotas are one of the seven nations of the Oceti Sakowin confederacy, or Seven Council Fires, that is more commonly and incorrectly referred to as “Sioux.” Traditional Lakota belief is that their ancestors emerged onto this earth through a cave in what is now the Black Hills of South Dakota. The descendants of these ancestors joined the Oceti Sakowin as the youngest of the Seven Council Fires, and likewise organized themselves into seven oyates, or nations. Some time afterwards, White Buffalo Woman brought the Sacred Pipe to one of the Lakota oyates, and said that there would eventually be seven sacred ceremonies associated with the Pipe. That Pipe, those ceremonies and the emergence narrative are what differentiate Lakotas from all other peoples, Native and non-Native. Today their descendants are citizens of six federally recognized tribes in the United States and one first nation in Canada.
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