Pté Oyáte

THE BUFFALO NATION WILL RISE | Series by Sadie Red Wing


Before western colonization, the Pté Oyáte, or Buffalo Nation, roamed along the Great Plains in the United States. Lakȟóta and Dakȟóta tribes viewed the buffalo as a close relative that provided resources to survive, like food, textiles, tools, shelter, ceremonial objects, protection, migration patterns, and cultural knowledge that demonstrates values of reciprocity. Following colonization, European settlers intended to wipe out the Buffalo Nation in efforts to drive the Lakȟóta and Dakȟóta to extinction. Today, Lakȟóta and Dakȟóta tribes are repopulating the buffalo race to keep their culture and sovereignty alive.

The series of images reflect the power of the buffalo as the prominent entity that created humanity of the Lakȟóta and Dakȟóta. Visual tropes, such as flowers, sun rays, dragonflies, and ledger buffalos metaphorically represent regrowth, sustainability, prosper, and persistence. These are the definitions that demonstrate the strength of the Lakȟóta and Dakȟóta people who remain the protectors of the Great Plains. Their tribal core value of reciprocity needs to be shared in visual platforms to provide greater motivation to prolong our life on this earth and universe.



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