Quilts of the Lakota

Quilts of the Lakota

October 20 - January 16, 2018

Members of the Lakota Sioux have transposed their heritage of painted buffalo robes to star quilts that maintain their cultural and tribal identity.

Lakota quilts are often presented as ceremonial gifts to honor or remember loved ones. The Quilts of the Lakota exhibit features some of the traditional sunburst design, while others made by contemporary artists present a more modern interpretation of textile tradition. Together as a collection they tell the story of a Native art form that has continued to evolve through history.

“Lakota people have always worked with textiles, but quilting began when missionaries arriving in the 1900s taught Lakota women to sew using European styles. Native women quickly adapted the art form for their own culture and their own lives, incorporating traditional designs that were once painted on buffalo robes,” says curator Ashley Pourier. “Quilts became much more than something to keep warm with—they became a symbolic gift to mark major moments in life, like marriage and childbirth. And today, quilting is truly an art. Instead of using quilts in our daily lives, we often hang them as ornaments. We wanted to show that progression over time, and celebrate the amazing work of our quilt artists.”

This exhibit is on loan from The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota