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Native Sun News Today: 'Horse Nation' exhibit opens in South Dakota






Volney Fast Horse and James Star Comes Out standing with horse in regalia made by Star Comes Out. Photo by Richie Richards

Horse Nation exhibit begins sacred journey at Red Cloud Indian School
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Today Staff Writer
nsweekly.com

PINE RIDGE –– According to Lakota artist, Don Montileaux, the horse has been with the Oceti Sakowin for many centuries before it was taken away and recently returned.

In Montileaux’s opening remarks during the opening reception of The Horse Nation of the Oceti Sakowin exhibit at the Heritage Center, located at the Red Cloud Indian School (RCIS), the South Dakota Hall of Fame inductee spoke of the significance of the exhibit and the sacred placement of the horse in Lakota culture and art.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, Red Cloud Indian School hosted the exhibition preview of The Horse Nation of the Oceti Sakowin exhibit with Father George Winzenburg, SJ (President of RCIS) providing a welcoming speech regarding the exhibit and the honor of having the new traveling exhibit begin at the Heritage Center.

“I would like to thank the artists. Keith (Brave Heart) gave us the opportunity to honor the horse. The horse has been a part of the culture for many, many centuries. The Great Spirit took the horse away from us for a bit and just recently brought it back,” said Montileaux to the nearly 70 people in attendance, formed in a prayer circle.

Montileaux acknowledged the multiple generations of artists present; those who paved the way for the younger generation who will continue to carve a trail through the art world for many more generations. It is through art that the story of a culture is told.

Following Montileaux’s introduction, Pat Bad Hand, Jr. and his son presented a song which has not been around since 1932 when it was last sang publicly. This song was an honoring for the horse nation. Bad Hand’s family recently revived the Lakota prayer song, recently. James Star Comes Out led a horse wearing regalia on its head around the prayer circle as the Bad Hands sang with hand drums in the center.

As an invited speaker, Jon Eagle, Sr. (Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) provided insight and an update on the NoDAPL movement in North Dakota and the recent incidents occurring at the Sacred Stones Camp.

“I am really happy for my toska (nephew), Keith. When I first met Keith, he called me “leksi” (Lakota for uncle). I could immediately tell that he had a good heart, said Eagle.

In updating those in the prayer circle, Jon Eagle, Sr. said, “History is repeating itself, just like on June, 25, 1890, when our ancestors were gathered at Greasy Grass.”

Eagle told of the pride felt by the Hunpapa Lakota for their bravery during the Battle of Little Big Horn; as according to the historian, “The Hunkpapa held the cavalry up so the warriors from the other tribes could unite. And just now at Cannonball, we have been holding off the Army Corps of Engineers for two years.”

“The camp is a prayer camp. We are not protesters we are protectors. This is not a “protest”. We need to quit using that language as it triggers their laws. We had young men coming up there and wanting to be militant; saying they were willing to die. Our chairman (Dave Archambault, Jr.) asked them not to die. No one needs to die. We are a peaceful camp,” said Eagle.


Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Horse Nation exhibit begins sacred journey at Red Cloud Indian School

(Contact Richie Richards at staffwriter@nsweekly.com)

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