Witness Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills | Black Hills Travel Blog

Witness Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills

  • Witness Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills
    Witness Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills
  • Witness Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills
    Witness Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2018
By : 
Nik

The great Lakota Sioux Nation—with their unique tipis, fast horses, and richly feathered and beaded clothing—has become the international symbol of America’s native people. Throughout South Dakota, the Lakota culture is visible in our citizens, art, music, fashions, and jewelry.

The Black Hills is the epicenter of Lakota culture in the Midwest and home to many organizations for those that wish to experience it. For many visitors, a purchase of Indian goods is a practical vacation memento, and Sioux beadwork and quillwork are the epitome of the art.

During October, one of the largest events held in the Black Hills focuses on Lakota culture. Taking place Oct 6-8, 2017, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, the Black Hills Powwow is one of the premier American Indian cultural events. This year's 31st annual festivities are sure to attract thousands of performers and artisans, as well as several thousand spectators, from across the US.

While at the Powwow, be sure to enjoy the fine arts show, He Sapa Win pageant, a Native American Day Parade, wellness symposium for youth, and tournaments for hand games, golf, and archery. Over $100,000 in awards and prizes will be given out during the weekend across the powwow dance divisions and singing contests.

Witness an Amazing Tradition, History & Art in the Black Hills

For those that don’t know, a powwow or “wacipi” is a social event which can last for several days, and it is when tribes and families conduct honorings and celebrations. Many of today’s powwows feature dance competitions in traditional, fancy, and jingle-dress dancing. The Black Hills Powwow also includes special dances throughout the week, so be sure to check out the complete schedule at www.blackhillspowwow.com.

While you’re in town for the powwow, be sure to explore the rest of the Black Hills for Lakota art and history. Sioux Pottery in Rapid City is a significant supplier of decorative Indian ceramics made with local red clay. In downtown Rapid City, Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries sells local wares and artwork created by the some of the area’s best artisans. And in the Badlands, Native West Trading Co. specializes in contemporary and traditional arts and crafts from local Lakota artists.

If American Indian art is of more interest, you can travel to The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School for an impressive collection of historical and contemporary Native American art from around the country. The Oglala Lakota Historical Center, located near Kyle, SD,  showcases the struggles and triumphs of those protecting the Lakota way of life through photographs and artwork. Nearby, one of the most notable historic sites in all of South Dakota is the Wounded Knee Massacre Site and Cemetery, located northeast of Pine Ridge.

About the Author

Nik is an Aberdeen native and views the Black Hills as a much needed reprieve from the never ending plains of Eastern South Dakota. He graduated from Northern State University with a degree in Fine Arts and Multimedia Design, both of which he enjoys using as the Marketing Project Specialist at Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association. He and his wife own a martial arts gym in Rapid City and most of his time outside of work goes into training and growing that program. When not working he loves cooking and trying new beers from all around the world. He has dreams of traveling to every country in the world at least once and living abroad for an entire year at some point in his life.

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