Native horse regalia is more than pretty beads and tanned leather. The art form has existed for centuries among American tribes, intrinsic to Native culture and spirituality as war drums and language. Nearly lost to modernity, a local artist plans to help bring the traditions back with an event at NDSU.
“Horse Regalia were commonly utilized by Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people for a giveaway in honor or in remembrance of a relative, identification of a warrior society, in ceremonies such as a horse dance, or simply to parade in celebration,” Director of Native American art at Plains Art Museum, Laura Youngbird, said.
James Star Comes Out will present an in-depth view of the history and association between the people and the horse, which was highly honored and cherished among the tribes within the Oceti Sakowin. James will also ‘dress’ a horse at this event and Orlando Frazier, Director of Native American Art at the Plains Art Museum, will sing the honoring songs.
James is an artist who specializes in creating horse regalia for the Horse Nations, an art form that explores how horses have shaped the history, spirituality, and culture of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people of the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires.
James Star Comes Out is one of many artists featured in Horse Nation. James revitalizes traditional horse regalia through creation. The exhibition at Plains Arts Museum is from January 25 through May 14, in the Fred J. Donath Memorial Gallery.
“We generally invite artists to engage the public and provide a talk or programs associated with the exhibits,” Youngbird added. “Curated by Keith BraveHeart, Mary Maxon, and Ashley Pourier, the exhibition is the result of an artist-led, community-influenced project; and expands on the 2014 film made by Keith BraveHeart, entitled ”We Are a Horse Nation.”
Artists featured in the exhibition include: Donald Montileaux, Arthur Amiotte, Dwayne Wilcox, Emil Her Many Horses, Dyani White Hawk Polk, Keith BraveHeart, the Two Bulls family (Michael, Doug and Molina), Marlena Myles, Nelda Schrupp, Jim Yellowhawk, Gwen Westerman, John Goes in Center, Roger Broer, and Mike and Denise One Star.
Youngbird invites those participating in the event to learn about the special relationship between the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota -- Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires -- and the Horse Nation Sunka Wakan Oyate.
The Horse Nation is organized by The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School, with support from Red Cloud Indian School, Inc., The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The South Dakota Humanities Council, The Black Hills Community Foundation, Joyce Dobbert, Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies, and Racing Magpie LLC.
James Star Comes Out, 2013: "At one time in Lakota/ Dakota history, the use of horse regalia was commonly practiced. This art form exemplifies the beauty and relation between Lakota/Dakota culture and the horse. Unfortunately, over time, this practice has become almost obsolete and unknown by most."
There is also upcoming event of The Horse Nation:
“We Are a Horse Nation” (2014) documents the relationships existing and being built among the Oceti Sakowin people and the Sunka Wakan Oyate (Horse Nation). Stories, history, traditional songs and culture tell the story of how people across the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota lands are bringing the horse back into the center of their way of life.
Focusing on the healing provided by the Sunka Wakan Oyate, this film provides a positive picture of life among the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota, and pays respect to and honors the Horse Nation. Join us for a screening of the documentary, followed by a discussion with filmmaker and artist Keith BraveHeart. The event will be held on April 19, 2018 from 6 to 8:30pm at the Plains Art Museum, free admission and open to the public.
IF YOU GO
Horse Regalia with James Star Comes Out
Saturday, March 17, 1-4pm
NDSU Equine Center, 5140 19th Ave N, Fargo
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