Wičhóoyake kiη aglí—They Bring the Stories Back:

Connecting Lakota Wild West Performers to Pine Ridge Community Histories

Arthur Amiotte, One Cow (1999)

Community Scanning Event, Friday, April 19, 2024


Buffalo Bill’s Wild West performed more than 3,000 times, over 30 years (1883-1916), throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Several hundred Lakota community members traveled as performers with Buffalo Bill and other Wild West shows during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Did any of your ancestors perform with Buffalo Bill Cody’s show or any other Wild West show?

Do you have any stories photos, documents or other keepsakes handed down in your family that you would like to have digitized to be part of a new online archive created by the community?

If so, please join us for a community scanning event on Friday, April 19th from 10:00 am-4:00 pm at the Woksape Tipi Library and Archives at Piya Wiconi in Kyle, SD.

NHPRC-Mellon grant project team at OLC community scanning event, April 19, 2024.
(Front row L-R) Valerie Janis, OLC; Emily Burns, U. Oklahoma; Rebecca Wingo, U. Cincinnati. Back row L-R) Amanda Takes War Bonnett, community collaborator; Laura Weakly, U. Nebraska; Emily Voelker, U. North Carolina-Greensboro; Donovin Sprague, community collaborator; Doug Seefeldt, Clemson U.; Ernie LaPointe, community collaborator; and Elena Cisneros, OLC (not pictured: Cecilia Fire Thunder and Stella Iron Cloud).

Oglala Lakota College received one of the inaugural NHPRC-Mellon Planning Grants for Collaborative Digital Editions in African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American History and Ethnic Studies. The conclusion of a two-year planning grant titled, Wičhóoyake kiη aglí—They Bring the Stories Back: Connecting Lakota Wild West Performers to Pine Ridge Community” is approaching, and OLC archives is hosting a community scanning event to record, photograph, and scan sources (texts, images, oral histories, and artifacts) that focus on Lakota community members who traveled as performers with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and other shows during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This digital archive project seeks to expand, enrich, and reconceive the collection of items located at Woksape Tipi Library & Archives and the Papers of William F. Cody at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY, while working to cultivate the community archive of Pine Ridge that persists in local family histories and traditions. Taken as a whole, the digitized items in this archival project will tell the important but little-known history of these Lakota performers from the perspectives of their own communities in a way that will both educate and inspire future generations.

Contact OLC Archives for more information at 605-455-6065.


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