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Transformation and Continuity in Lakota Culture: The Collages of Arthur Amiotte
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South Dakota State Historical Society
Pub Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781941813003
Arthur Amiotte, Louis S. Warren, Janet Catherine Berlo
Transformation and Continuity in Lakota Culture: The Collages of Arthur Amiotte
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Transformation and Continuity in Lakota Culture: The Collages of Arthur Amiotte

by Arthur Amiotte, Louis S. Warren, Janet Catherine Berlo

An introduction to Standing Bear and his world brought to life through the collages of Arthur Amiotte. 

Through his artwork, Arthur Amiotte offers insight into the early reservation period, a time of great upheaval for the Lakota people. In words and images, he tells the fascinating story of his great-grandfather Standing Bear, a Lakota artist whose family uniquely blended Native and European ways of life. Drawing inspiration from Standing Bear's legacy, Amiotte uses ephemera, historical and modern photographs and artworks, and the remembered stories of his relatives to compose collages that tell the story of a culture and people in transition. The vivid juxtaposition of materials allows viewers to experience the nuances and fluctuations in the Lakota people's environment, values, and way of life. Louis S. Warren relates the life of Standing Bear in a brief biography, and Janet Catherine Berlo contributes an essay placing Amiotte's collages in their artistic and anthropological contexts. Arthur Amiotte is an Oglala Lakota artist from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Since the mid-1960s, he has taught in public schools, universities, and American Indian colleges, and he also serves as an art historian, lecturer, consultant, and arts judge. Influenced by Oscar Howe in his early career, Amiotte began working with collages in 1988, using the muslin and ledger-book traditions of his ancestors and focusing on the period between 1880 and 1930. He now works full-time as an artist, living in Custer, South Dakota, with his wife, Janette K. Murray.