- By Tamara Ikenberg
This weekend and next week, the Plains are popping with art, fashion, and entertainment.
The Indigenous communities of Montana and South Dakota are offering awesome art markets, music, and insights into Apsaalooke aesthetics.
Apsáalooke Women and Warriors
WHEN: Saturday, July 9 and Sunday July 10, 1:35 p.m., 2:35 p.m. and 3:35 p.m.
Designer Della Bighair-Stump of Designs by Della has Crow culture covered. She’s sharing her expertise in elk ivories and more aspects of Apsaalooke style at the Apsaalooke Women and Warriors exhibit.
Bighair-Stump’s Crow couture is on display in the show, and she also is delivering live Apsaalooke Fashion and Art presentations in which she discusses the ways she combines the modern and traditional in her own work, shows examples of her designs, and explores the nuances of extravagant Crow fashion statements.
“A lot of people don’t realize how back in the day, our traditional elk tooth dresses were made from real elk ivories and that elk only have two teeth,” Bighair-Stump told Native News Online. “If you had a full dress of elk ivories you were considered wealthy and your husband was an amazing hunter.”
The live presentations add a candid, personal touch to the exhibit, which debuted at the Field Museum in Chicago, and pays tribute to the style, strength, bravery and artistry of the Apsaalooke people through a combination of regalia, contemporary art, and historical objects like war shields.
First Peoples’ Fashion Show
Choke Cherry Creek’s new spring/summer Honoring our Mothers collection is abundant with Apsaálooke floral designs and beadwork in the form of ready-to-wear dresses, tops and skirts.
“The collection is dedicated to the mothers and grandmothers who inspired me to bead and sew,” Choke Cherry Creek owner Angela Howe-Parrish told Native News Online. “Each piece is named after my grandmothers Myrtle, Ruby, Annette, Roseann and Inez. I also wanted to honor my mother Donna and my aunt DeAnn, who also played an important role and have inspired me to start beading and sewing. “
Indigenous fashion fans can meet the matriarchal looks at the First Peoples’ Fashion Show, which is part of this year’s Montana Folk Festival.
The fashion show will also feature looks from Chippewa and Cree designer Rebekah Jarvey, Plains Soul by Little Shell Chippewa designer Carrie Moran McCleary, and Sweet Sage Woman from Crow designer Yolanda GoodVoice.
“We are all indigenous designers who have unique styles and have worked really hard to put on an amazing show!” Howe-Parrish said. “There will be an array of unique colorful pieces that feature our culture in the form of contemporary fashions. Our beautiful models are ready to rock the runway so you don't want to miss it!”
Native Pop: People of the Plains
WHEN: Saturday July 9 and Sunday, July 10
WHERE: Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD; Event page
Native Pop is blasting back on to the Rapid City scene for a weekend full of art, fashion, entertainment and community engagement.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the cultural celebration in the heart of the Black Hills, and the festivities include an art market, performances from Indigenous entertainers including The Reddmen, Tiana Spotted Thunder and Arrow Evolution, and a fashion show starring designers Kayla Lookinghorse, Della Bighair-Stump, Cindy Giago, Jenilee Rooks, and Samantha Bissonette.
Dennis Sixkiller: Speaking Life Into Language
WHEN: Through Saturday, Sept. 24
WHERE: Saline Courthouse Museum, 55870 S. 490 Rd., Rose, OK
Dennis Sixkiller’s efforts to keep the Cherokee language alive and proudly spoken is the focus of a new exhibit at the Saline Courthouse Museum.
The first-language Cherokee speaker has had an immeasurable impact on preserving the language, Karen Shade-Lanier, exhibits manager for Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, said in a statement.
“As the number of Cherokee speakers fell with the aging of a generation, his work served as a thread celebrating and connecting our first-language speakers with each other, as well as new language speakers,” Shade-Lanier said. “Just like the language itself, Dennis represents a special connection to Cherokee culture.”
Sixkiller is the current host of “Cherokee Voices, Cherokee Sounds,” a weekly radio show that debuted in 2004, and offers music, interviews, news and more in the Cherokee language.
Sixkiller’s path to helming the long-running radio show is explored in the exhibit, which also delves into his Cherokee language teaching and translation, ministry and traditional Cherokee hobbies.
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