There Are 120 Years of Lakota History on This Calendar

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There Are 120 Years of Lakota History on This Calendar

The visual recording of life in the nation sheds light on a vanished culture

Smithsonian Magazine
January 2015

The old man Poolaw gave me my Indian name, Tsoai-talee (Rock tree boy), when I was an infant. Poolaw was a notable figure in the Kiowa tribe, an arrow maker and a calendar keeper. He died soon after I was born, and I regret that I did not come to know him. Nonetheless I feel close to him, for I have being in the name he gave me.

Tsoai, the rock tree, is what the Kiowas call Devils Tower, the monolithic outcropping in the shape of a tree stump, rising from the plains on the edge of the Black Hills in Wyoming. Tsoai is a principal landmark on the old migration route of the Kiowas from the Yellowstone River to the Southern Plains. According to Kiowa legend, it is the tree that carried seven sisters into the heavens where they became the stars of the Big Dipper. The story links the Kiowas forever to the stars, to relatives in the night sky.

Some years later my father and I went to the house where Poolaw had lived. In a bureau drawer in Poolaw’s bedroom, preserved by his family, were two items of interest—a human bone and a ledger book. Of the former my father said, “This is the forearm of a man named Two Whistles. I know nothing more about it.” Who was Two Whistles, I wondered, and how did the bone come into Poolaw’s possession? I encountered unrecorded history, if that is not a contradiction in terms… Read more.

New Native American Restaurant Promises Amazing “Pre-Colonization” Menu

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New Native American Restaurant Promises Amazing “Pre-Colonization” Menu

By Zak Cheney-Rice  October 2, 2014

There are approximately 990,000 restaurants in the United States. The cuisines they encompass are staggering, from the noodle houses of Southern California to the clam shacks of New England.

But check your local Zagat Guide and you’ll probably find one striking omission: Native American food.Newsweek reports that a search of the rating site’s New York City section yields zero indigenous American results.

It’s a troubling absence, considering the historical context: broken treaties, land grabs and the confinement of Native peoples’ ancestors to reservations where fresh groceries can be as rare as presidential visits.

Enter Sean Sherman, an experienced chef and native son of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. In December, Sherman plans to open the Minneapolis-St. Paul area’s only traditional Native American restaurant, appropriately named the Sioux Chef. …Read More.