Tatanka and the Lakota People

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The Buffalo Nation's transformation into the Ordinary People and their salvation by Tatanka comes from the traditional creation story of the Lakota. Suitable for beginning readers.


After the Great Spirits created the world, the Trickster fooled the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) into leaving the Underworld. They became the Ordinary People and needed help to survive. Tatanka, the holy man, turned himself into a Buffalo and sacrificed his powers for the people. With all that Tatanka provided, the Ordinary—or Lakota—People adapted to the earth around them and prospered.

The transformation of the Buffalo Nation into the Ordinary People and their salvation by Tatanka comes from the traditional creation story of the Lakota, or Sioux, Indians. Donald F. Montileaux’s beautiful paintings offer dramatic colors and forms to this story of beginnings.

This book includes a note from Montileaux about his illustrations which reads, in part: “These illustrations are in a flat two-dimensional style that reflects the style of the traditional buffalo hides painted by my ancestors. I used this style in honor of my ancestors and found that it worked well in telling the story. The drawings compliment each other and, at the same time, each one can stand alone.”

Donald F. Montileaux is an Oglala Lakota artist, illustrator, presenter, and consultant on Lakota culture. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota, with his family.

Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society
Language: English/Lakota
Culture Group:  Lakota

 

Author: Donald F. Montileaux
Illustrations: Color paintings by Donald F. Montileaux
Binding Availability: Paperback or Hardcover
Published: 2006, 37 pages
Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Lakota