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Native Sun News: LNI serves as backdrop for Native art, fashion

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | National
More on: fashion, native sun news, south dakota

The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer All content © Native Sun News.

Scott Means addresses the audience on his participation in the newly released short film by Oglala director Jesse Short Bull, “Istima”. Scatter Their Owns Juliana Clifford and Native Fashion Weeks producer Edison Ritchie listen in.

LNI a backdrop for Native artists
By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY — The Lakota Nation Invitational has grown and expanded to include not only sports but also academic and traditional sports as well. The year 2013 LNI in Rapid City saw the beginnings of a new element to the annual tournament.

Native Fashion Week brought together a wide ranging variety of arts and entertainment featuring the talents of local and national artists. The event was hosted and emceed by Raycen Raines of Lakota Ways and Edison Ritchie of the Edison Ritchie Project.

Penny Singer, Dine’, was the featured clothing designer for the premier fashion show, coming all the way from the south west to present her intricately designed line of clothing. Singer is known here in Lakota country for the shows that she has already been represented at, such as the He Sapa Wacipi fashion show.

Another designer presenting her line of Native inspired clothing was Sun Rose Iron Shell, Sicangu. Her clothing line is called Warrior Status clothing. Her cutting edge designs stand out due due to her use of contemporary colors and cuts of fabrics that incorporate traditional markings and paints that were used by warriors preparing to head into battle.

All hair and makeup designs were created by Edison Ritchie, the producer of the fashion show element of the event. The hair and makeup were cutting edge and often contrary to what people assume a “native” show would feature with more sculpture and contemporary color. The entire fashion show was a blend of the contemporary with elements of the traditional, creating its own new standard and status in the Native fashion industry.

Before and after the fashion show, which was the anchor element of the event, various artists and performers were featured on stage and in the area surrounding the venue. An art show that featured a newly unveiled painting by Leonard Peltier took center stage in the room, and included such noted artists as Joe Pulliam, Quinton Maldonado and Gus Yellow Hair.

On stage the theater group Lakota Ways out of Wall performed snippets of two of their featured plays. The first was a scene from Tasunke Wakan Ohitika that told the story of how the Lakota people came to know and revere the horse nation. The second was a condensed version of the play that recounts the life and times of Crazy Horse. The scenes were performed by the players of Lakota Ways.

Also taking to the stage is the nationally acclaimed rock duo Scatter Their Own who premiered their video to their song “Taste of Time”. Following the viewing the group, which features Scott and Juliana Clifford and Scott Clifford Jr. performed a selection of songs, including a song sung by Clifford’s daughter Wahpe Win Clifford.

A new film by Jesse A. Short Bull titled “Istima” was shown during the course of the event. The roughly 8 minute film featured two local Lakota actors, Scott Means and Milo Yellow Hair, who played a father and son. The topic of the film was a familiar if not difficult topic to digest. A father who drank his way out of his family’s lives and a son who has to now come to grips with dealing with the fall out as an adult.

Short Bull spoke of an expanded feature film to grow out from the short film. Means spoke on the process of filming one of the more poignant scenes that featured an emotional response from his character as the son to reading a letter from his on screen father. Means explained how he took inspiration from the relationship he had with his father, the late Russell Means.

Other performers and stand outs in the event included Shawn Little Thunder who created her own emotional moments with her spoken word poetry. Tyler Short Horn regaled the audience with a highly charged monologue and followed that up with a song sung a cappella. All in all, the Native Fashion Week was a blend of tradition and innovation that pulled together many of the artistic pursuits that Native people are excelling in.

“This year showed an excellent turn out, with people wandering in and staying to see what was being offered,” said Ritchie.” Next year we will be in a larger room, hopefully, one that is more accessible to the LNI participants, and we will see the event grow and expand to encompass all of our Native people and this entire community!”

(Contact Karin Eagle at

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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