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)
  • johns3-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:49 a.m.

    Art can reduce racism by deferent people from different belief or tribes making art. And showing the world that they can also be the same.Not just for their color or beliefs or religions. They can make a gallery to show that diffrent people can also do the same as you or even better than you.

  • sarynea-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    Art can reduce racism because, when people tell them they are not being nice. People can be mean because of there skin. Or because what they look like. People are not kind to one or another. Or people just are playing mean.

  • robertoh1-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    Art can reduce racism because you can paint a dark colored man or girl and a white colored man or girl hugging and that can reduce racism . Another reason art can reduce racism is you can draw 3 dark colored people and 3 white colored people in one small group. A third reason is you can draw a white person getting invited to dark person's house. The last way I can think of is you can paint a white person helping a dark colored person and giving a friend in the process.

  • brayand-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:54 a.m.

    That the plans wher the one that where the farces from here and that the where at the northern Great Plains and that they where the first one that they went the farthest

  • austins2-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:56 a.m.

    The Native Americans story is about the people that lived back than that they made art work and they were really good at the panting so that because so they can get their own words.

  • isaach3-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    We do a lot of work trying to mitigate racism.And so, one idea was to do axhibit not with that as its intention but whith that as a possible outcome," said Craig Howe.

  • marianav-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    The man was really good at painting. It looks like he work in a museum. But not a animal museum a painting museum. I think he drew them and painted them. And also he was really good at painting.

  • arelyd-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    Art can reduce racism by doing a lot of things such as painting things that people like or don't like example if they paint Donald trump some people might get really really mad or some people might just not care or just let it go but eather way it is not fair and just to tell you this was just an example so please don't get me wrong but that is my opinion of how art can reduce racism

  • brittanym-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    The racism about the color of the people's tribe on the paintings is not to be judged.I wonder how they can tell story's about the Indians tribe just by looking at a panting. The paintings are showing us why to stop racism. The paintings of people show them different color of skin. The people are all hard workers people are all the same but not just the color of there skin but that's ok.

  • arturov1-san
    11/04/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    Art can reduce racism by drawing about slavery and the color of other people and saying something.Craig Howe would paint only his kind of people but not all raise.His paintings show things that will look like racism but he only draws creativity.

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