CUSTER, S.D (KELO) — Wind Cave National Park celebrated Native Americans’ Day on Monday.
The western South Dakota park is showcasing the culture through art.
Wind Cave is a sacred site for Native Americans. They believe it’s where the ancestors were created. So, hosting today’s event was a natural move.
“When they come and visit a National Park they like to understand the history and the culture that surrounds the park. So they like to understand, you know, not only how a park was founded and formed and what the significant and natural and cultural features are but they like to understand the people and the community,” Wind Cave Superintendent Leigh Welling said.
Today, Kelly Looking Horse revealed a newly completed sculpture in celebration of his grandfather’s stories.
“Other installations here that talk about other stories, but this is my grandfather. There’s a lot of different, what do you call, oral history or oral stories about the creation. But one thing that’s common is that we all believe we came from here,” Artist Kelly Looking Horse said.
This is the second year in a row that the Wind Cave has opened this event up to the public. On this day of celebration they like to incorporate teaching those the cultural history through art. That includes dancers, sculptures, and anything else that relates to art.
“It’s personal, it often incorporates really deep time connections and traditions. It’s evolving so it both represents history but it also represents a living culture,” Welling said.
Looking Horses sculpture embodies the birthplace and life of those native to the area.
“Hopefully the people that come here can ask more questions and then they’ll open the doors for other stories. But this is the very beginning and like I said we’re very blessed and honored to have been given the opportunities,” Looking Horse said.
Kelly Looking Horse’s sculpture will remain at Wind Cave for visitors to see.