Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “Lakota Sioux”

Buffaloed in South Dakota

Last September, Sugar and I went to the Black Hills and enjoyed the buffalo festival in Cody, South Dakota.  I’d like to say that we picked the weekend so that we could attend, but it was simply good luck that we happened to be there.

Buffaloes were central to the culture of Plains Indians, including the Lakota Sioux people, many of whom still live in South Dakota.  The Black Hills are sacred to these people, and to me too.  The Pine Ridge Reservation is there.

There is a large buffalo herd in Custer State Park.  In late September they hold their annual buffalo round-up there.  During the weekend prior to that event, when we were visiting, the town of Custer celebrated the importance of buffalo to the area in many ways.  On street corners throughout downtown Custer were life-size model buffaloes that had been painted creatively by artists.  On Friday evening was a reception at a bank at which the public could meet the artists and get a preview of their artwork, which was auctioned off the next day.  Not only were the full sized buffaloes auctioned, but also smaller sculptures of buffaloes and paintings of buffaloes.  Lots of buffalo art!   Since our home is decorated with western art, and since Miss Sugar is an artist and art teacher, the art auction was of great interest to us.

Now you are probably wondering what art we purchased.  The answer is that the bidders were out of our league.  However, we did buy a buffalo skull from a booth of such items.  It was not part of the auction but it was part of the buffalo festival.

We’d like to go back to Custer, South Dakota this coming September for the buffalo weekend.

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse was a Sioux war leader who was never defeated in battle.  He was one of the strategists at the Battle of Little Big Horn, where General Custer was wiped out by an alliance of Indian tribes. 

He fought to protect his home in the Black Hills of what is now South Dakota.  He was never defeated, but he did surrender and was taken to Fort Robinson, in the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska.  Sadly, he was murdered there, stabbed in the back by a bayonet, to the shame of his captors.

He died in 1877.  Many years later, Indian leaders persuaded an award winning sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, to build a monument such as Mount Rushmore, honoring Crazy Horse.  The “monumental” job was undertaken by the artist in 1948, but is still not completed.  Mr. Ziolkowski died in 1982.  His family continues the task.  So far, after six decades, only the face of Crazy Horse is recognizable.  It is not really a task of sculpting because a mountain is being carved by dynamite primarily.  There is a sculpture done by the artist which is being recreated on a much larger scale.  It is a daunting task. 

I recommend that you visit the monument, which is near Custer, South Dakota.  There is no hurry though.  Take your time.

Buffaloed

Yesterday I wrote about our trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota last weekend.  Actually, that post was more about our misadventures with the trailer we rented.  This one will be more positive and well illustrated with American Bison, also known as Buffaloes, so if you are not enthused about such critters, back off immediately.

Buffaloes were central to the culture of Plains Indians, including the Lakota Sioux people, many of whom still live in South Dakota.  I have previously written about the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Tomorrow, I intend to write about a famous Lakota leader, Crazy Horse.

There is a large buffalo herd in Custer State Park.  Yesterday was the annual buffalo round-up there.  During the weekend prior to that event, when we were visiting, the town of Custer celebrated the importance of buffalo to the area in many ways.  On street corners throughout downtown Custer were life-size model buffaloes that had been painted creatively by artists.  On Friday evening was a reception at a bank at which the public could meet the artists and get a preview of their artwork, which was auctioned off the next day.  Not only were the full sized buffaloes auctioned, but also smaller sculptures of buffaloes and paintings of buffaloes.  Lots of buffalo art!   Since our home is decorated with western art, and since Miss Sugar is an artist and art teacher, the art auction was of great interest to us.   I’d like to say that we picked this weekend so that we could attend, but it was simply good luck that we happened to be there.

Now you are probably wondering what art we purchased.  The answer is that the bidders were out of our league.  However, we did buy a buffalo skull from a booth of such items.  It was not part of the auction but it was part of the buffalo festival. 

We’d like to go back to Custer, South Dakota next September for the buffalo weekend.

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