South Dakota Storytellers
Victor Mandan (Hidatsa)
Hello, my people. I am Gun Guarding House. I am from the Mandan Tribe, and I have been asked to say a few words today . We are losing stories every time we lose a person, and we are losing our elders very rapidly. There was a man buried just last week who could have been an immense help to me because he was of the Antelope Society, and I have a question which concerns those people and I didn’t get to ask him.
Jerome Kills Small (Oglala Sioux)
I’m Jerome Kills Small from the Pine Ridge Reservation in western South Dakota. My Lakota name is Sisoka Luta (shee-sho-kah Loo-tah), which translates to Red Robin, but I always say Cardinal . I’m from the Red Star side of the family. My ancestral grandfather is Man Afraid of His Horses and Young Man Afraid of His Horses. Young Man Afraid of His Horses had three other brothers. The first one, his name was Black Mountain Sheep, and they called him Chinska (sheen-sh-ka), Spoon, because we make spoons out of the mountain sheep horn. We boil it and make it soft, and we make ladles and spoons, and I have mountain sheep spoons and buffalo horn spoons and ladles. I keep them for the memory of what I was told, and I still live that way.
Marie Randall (Oglala Lakota)
Le anpetu ki han, woaglakin kta yunkan. Sicangu Oyate ki hetanhan. Tiospaye Wah’peluta, Tiospag’ Hetahan imaca he. Nahan Tunkasila Weyakihan Mato Wahancunka iceyapi. Bear Shield. O nahan, Unci Weyaki Itasipa Wicaku Win eciyapi. Takes the Bull Away, is my grandma’s name. My mother’s name is Anawazipi Win. Jealous of Her is her Indian sacred name. These are all sacred names that we carry in Lakota life. My dad’s name is Brush Breaker, which means breaking of a brush limb to save his people. That’s one of the sacred names that he carried for his father. I was chosen as an adoption of a relative. They gave me the name of Oyate Akitapi Win. Nation Woman is my name.
Anne White Hat
O mitakuwiyape, cante waste na pecuzape. Ohitika Winmiye. My name is Anne White Hat, and I come from Rosebud, South Dakota. Our family comes from my mother’s side, the Mato Ahuncika family and we’re also part of the Aske Tiospaye. That is in the Rosebud Reservation area. We went out and gathered with a group of women and community members from Rosebud. What we did was create a place for community members who were interested to come and learn a little bit, but more importantly to share knowledge that they have. Our project is really based on the fact that the knowledge is within our communities. What we’re trying to do is create a place for people to come and share that knowledge.
Without having an understanding of or researching who you are and how you identify with your culture. If you understand how important language is, then that’s the focus. That’s preservation, and that’s what I’m into. You can look at it from all other perspectives, but the bottom line is the songs. Songs never change especially in things from the Densmore collection, Rhodes collection, or Walker collection. I have all those things. It’s a virtual library that I have. I have access to songs I haven’t even touched. There hasn’t been a need for them. How they come about are, for instance, I’ll give you an example of, on Spirit of Song.
Gordon Bird is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arickara Nations also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes headquartered in New Town, North Dakota. He currently resides in rural Brookings, South Dakota. His father, Jacob Bird, was the son of Steven Bird. Steven Bird was the son of Crow Flies High, a leader of the Hidatsa. Crow Flies High was sometimes referred to as chief. Crow Flies High Butte, which was named after him is located a few miles west of New Town, North Dakota. The butte is overlooking the Missouri River.
Marcella Ryan LeBeau is a member of the Two Kettle Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and lives in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Her Lakota name is Wigmuke Waste Win (Pretty Rainbow Woman) Her great-grandfather, Chief Joseph Four Bear (Mato Topa), signed the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868. Her grandmother, Louise Bear Face, was related to Rain In The Face who took part in the Battle of the Little Horn.
Well, that is a traditional song. It really is a traditional song, but it’s a Buffalo Dance song. I used to travel around with this group from Rosebud. It was Ben Black Bear, Sr., and Lloyd One Star and the old Iron Wood Singers. A group of us performed different traditional dances. In one of the songs, one of the dances was a Buffalo Dance. Ben Black Bear had this song. He was really a treasure, just a walking encyclopedia of traditional knowledge. He had this really beautiful Buffalo Dance song. I’ve never heard it since then. That was the only time. Nobody’s used it. You know, it’s been like thirty years since I’ve heard them sing it. So then, I just love that tune. I thought, well, I’ll use it, you know. It’s a beautiful song and what it’s saying is about the force that moves the buffalo over the country.
My name is Don Montileaux. I’m an Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation and that’s located in South Dakota. Basically, I guess I had my formal art training here in Rapid City, South Dakota where I live currently. I have a family of three: an older daughter, a son, and a younger daughter. My youngest daughter is 18 and just got accepted into IAIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is really a coup for me because that’s where I went to school and basically learned all my artwork that I use today. My wife’s name is Paulette Monitleaux. She’s the curator at the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City.