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Native Sun News: Lakota artists recount legend of the Black Hills

Lakota cartoonist, Dwayne Wilcox, creator of the Great Race Vignette Sakpe entry Roar, shares a snack and a smile with Oglala Lakota metalworker, Jhon Duane Goes In Center, of the Vignette Saglogan entry Lakota Agate Napokatke. Photo by Aly Duncan Neely

Great Race Exhibit at Journey Museum wraps up with local Lakota artists
By Aly Duncan Neely
Native Sun News Correspondent

RAPID CITY –– The Great Race exhibit was near an end on June 24 at the Journey Museum. Executive Director Troy Kilpatrick, presented the exhibit organized by Craig Howe, PhD., of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, CAIRNS.

The Great Race, a story of the formation of the Black Hills in South Dakota, an ovate shaped range of hills and mountains that clearly resemble a modern racecourse, was recorded in written format by Oglala Lakota author James LaPointe, in his 1976 book entitled Legends of the Lakota, The narrative describes the legendary race of the four-leggeds and two-leggeds from Lakota oral tradition.

Howe brought together a diverse array of Lakota fine artists, musicians and poets to collaborate creatively, offering new expressions of an ancient story, and choosing bold, non-commercial art that reflected the Lakota worldview. La Pointe’s work was divided into eight narrative passages, or vignettes, interpreted by original works of forty renowned and emerging contemporary Lakota artists from South Dakota and across the United States.

Fifteen musicians, nine 3-dimensional artists, eight painters and eight poets combined their talent to elucidate the traditional narrative. The exhibit began with a background narrative of the Lakota creation story followed by vignettes numbered in Lakota numerals, wanci through saglogan.

Artwork for Vignette Wanci included: a bejeweled stone carving by artist Paul Szabo representing the Unkche Ghila, animals that once existed on the .plains but are now extinct, the painting Arriving for the Great Race by Del Iron Cloud, the poem Wanci penned by author Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, with the song entitled The Beginning by Stephen Yellowhawk.

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