Indigenous culture celebrated at event in Rapid City

Models wear clothing designed by Oglala Lakota designer Tosa Two Heart at the Native POP 2021 Designer Fashion Show. Photo courtesy of Tosa Two Heart Facebook page @shoptwoheart.

Indigenous culture celebrated at event in Rapid City

By Native Sun News Today Staff


RAPID CITY―Last week, crowds gathered in downtown Rapid City to attend the 8th Annual Native POP (People of the Plains) Art Market & Cultural Celebration. The two-day event was held on Friday July 9th and Saturday July 10th and included demonstrations, exhibits, an art market, a film festival, a fashion show, and more. The festivities began on Friday with the Native POP 2021 Awards Reception at the Dahl Art Center. The evening was an opportunity for guests to enjoy refreshments and appreciate the original artwork of nearly 50 of the Great Plains’ best established and emerging artists―such as Donald F. Montileaux (Oglala Lakota), Angela Babby (Oglala Lakota), Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Lakota) and Roger Broer (Oglala Lakota), to name just a few.

Saturday’s events kicked off with the Opening Grand Entry and Prayer at 10am, followed by entertainment, kids activities, culture bearer demonstrations, and other events happening throughout the day. The Art Market featured fine art of all kinds by various artists: Janice Albro, Angela Babby, Carlin Bear Don’t Walk, Della Stump, Roger Broer (Founding Artist), Marshall Burnette, Fredrick Clarin, Tani Gordon, Stan Hawkins, Emil Her Many Horses, Una Lee Howe, Susan Hudson, Kayla Kujaczynski, Terran Last Gun, Bill Mendoza, Don Montileaux, Emma Neuharth, Loriene Pearson, Patrick Pulliam, Susan Peebles, Martin Red Bear (Founding Artist), Nelda Schrupp, Gene Swallow, Brian Szabo, Linda Szabo, Paul Szabo, Dustin Twiss, Lorri Ann Two Bulls, Jennifer White (Founding Artist), and Laura Youngbird.

Saturday afternoon, indigenous designers took center stage at the Native POP 2021 Designer Fashion Show in Main Street Square. Models walked the runway in couture designs by several indigenous designers: Designs By Della by Della Bighair-Stump, Still Smoking Designs by Gina Still Smoking, Tosa Two Heart, Ohopa Designs by Darla Takestheknife, and Anpo Iyokpi Win.

Handcrafted dolls created by Oglala Sioux mixed-media and fiber artist Gene Swallow. Photo courtesy of Fiber & Art by Gene Swallow and @perfecthanginggallery Facebook pages.

Saturday evening, the Dahl Art Center hosted the Native POP 5th Annual Film Showcase. The film festival celebrated indigenous films, actors and producers and offered attendees the opportunity to meet the people behind the films showcased. This year’s lineup included the following films:

  • Hop Along Hang On: Director/Writer: Cobra Collins, Producer: Xstine CookHow do you take back a story you didn’t know was yours? How do you move forward while embracing and understanding your past? Follow Rose the rabbit as she seeks her way back home. A poetic story of reclamation, recovery and reconciliation by spoken word artist Cobra Collins.
  • The Lakota Daughters: Written & Directed by Victoria KupchinetskyPoverty, drugs, alcohol, frequent disappearances of young women and limited law enforcement are all issues plaguing Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota. However, following strong matrilineal traditions of the Native American culture, women on the Reservation are working to create “a girl society.”
  • We are still here: Produced and Directed by Lizbeth ChappellThe story of the Xo’shga – a band of the Hidatsa tribe that broke away from the reservation and lived free for 25 years longer than many Native Americans. Their ancestors credit them with saving significant amounts of language and tradition, as they fight to maintain the same crucial pieces of their culture in the modern world.
  • My name means Future, Tokata Iron Eyes: Producers: Andrea Bowers, Tokata Iron EyesTokata Iron Eyes is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and has been involved with the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline since its inception. We asked the young activist to show us some of her most sacred places in South Dakota.

The cultural celebration wrapped up Saturday night with the Native POP Musical Festival in Main Street Square featuring live music by Sons of Sans Arc, Scotti Clifford & Spirits Cry, and The Wake Singers.

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