Wičaȟnpi Banner Project at Nicollet Tower
Wičaȟnpi is an artwork that celebrates the diversity within our communities, and expresses the interconnectedness of the universe through powerful Dakota iconography of the morning star. The piece was installed on May 25th and will remain on view through October, 2023.
At over 5' x 20', The brightly colored banner is fabricated specifically for the high winds of the Coteau des Prairies, where the Tower stands, with design-incorporated cutouts on fiberglass screening to let the air pass through. Bundles of jingles - elements of women’s powwow regalia - hang from the morning stars, filling the air with sound as it drifts in the wind. Nicollet Tower, built in 1991, overlooks the lands of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate on the Lake Traverse Reservation. It is named for Joseph N. Nicollet, a French cartographer who mapped the area in the 1830s. From the tower a visitor can see for hundreds of miles around three states.
Tuȟmaǧatipi at the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston
Tuȟmaǧatipi –the Dakota word for beehive– is a sculptural habitat and water source for pollinators created using the Dakota morning star form and built with sustainable materials: clay, natural composites, and driftwood. Situated in the Wildflower Meadow –an undeveloped area of the Greenway that supports many bee species, butterflies and moths– the project honors Indigenous science as well as the key ecological roles of pollinators and plants, who are increasingly threatened by climate change. This sculptural constellation explores how both form and material can support habitat restoration. Tuȟmaǧatipi seeks to build reciprocity with the meadow ecosystem by providing respite to native pollinators right in the middle of the city.
Photos by Mel Taing