Native Sun News Today: All positive roads begin at the powwow

Lynn Cuny and Kyle White at this year’s Black Hills Pow Wow. Photo courtesy Lynn Cuny

All roads begin at the pow wow
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Today Staff Writer

RAPID CITY –– From the powwow springs many positive things in life, which can be directly connected to the spirituality sewn into the songs, dances and regalia, according Lynn Cuny and Kyle White of Rapid City.

Native Sun News Today interviewed the Rapid City residents who have credited pow wow as the starting point for much of the good fortune in their lives. Lynn and Kyle are engaged and plan on marrying in 2017. The couple is known throughout the pow wow community for their matching regalia and for their dedication to the traditions depicted in their beadwork.

Kyle told NSNT that it was Lynn who saved him from a life of addiction and self-destructive behavior, but concedes it was the power of the drum which drew him in through his soon-to-be-wife. In essence, pow wow saved his life through Lynn.

“I’ve been dancing before I could walk, my grandmas and my mom had me in traditional regalia as a baby. My mom and great-grandma were dancers, so I just did what they did. This is how tradition works,” Lynn told NSNT.

Lynn’s traditional dress represents the Battle of Greasy Grass (1890). “My great grandmother Emma Amiotte had American Flags on her beaded top. I felt compelled to keep that tradition going. Because of the victory of that battle, the American flag actually belongs to the Lakota people,” says the Supervisor Health Technician for IHS. “There are also specific components that my traditional top has, for example the design on the back represents fertility, the box design represents a good life, the turtles represent both fertility and long life.”

The designs in her regalia are traditional patterns which are significant to Lakota women. The many pieces she wears were made by family, friends and herself. “Traditionally, Lakota used red and blue for the prominent colors in adornment. A friend Terra Houska beaded the designs on my top, and my mom Lisa filled in the green background. Kyle also made my belt, my breast plate, and attachments, and my quilled moccasins, him and my mom did my leggings.”

Being a Lakota woman in contemporary times, Lynn wears items which identify her place in modern society. “The otters I wear in my hair represent fertility, the attachments and tools that adorn my belt are a representation of an industrious or working woman. The eagle plumes that I wear in my hair were earned for graduating from HS, and my 5 college degrees, the eagle feather I wear was given to me by my fiancé and his mother in symbolism is that I am now part of him and his family.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: All roads begin at the pow wow

(Contact Richie Richards at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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