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Traditional Arts Demonstration Day Sept. 22 at Cultural Heritage Center

Three American Indian traditional artists will demonstrate their work on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

The free event, hosted by the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, runs from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. CDT. Refreshments will be served, and there is free admission to the museum galleries that day.

Alana Traversie of Pierre learned to bead earrings and do simple loom patterns at an early age. She taught herself to bead other objects, and today her specialty is making beaded moccasins.

Mike Marshall is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who lives and works on the reservation. He graduated from Sinte Gleska University in Mission with a bachelor of fine arts degree and is a working artist. Marshall will share his extensive knowledge of traditional Lakota games and toys with museum visitors and make traditional game pieces. Visitors will be able to make games for themselves with supplies provided. As an artist, Marshall works in painting, sculpture and metalwork. He is known for his ledger art, batiks and parfleche boxes.

Jennifer Carter of Fort Pierre will demonstrate traditional star quilting. The single star that dominates most star quilts is made of small diamond-shaped fabric patches pieced together into eight sections. The eight-sided star is formed when these sections are joined together. Today, star quilts are a valued gift, often made for "give-away" events such as memorial feasts, celebrations, naming ceremonies and marriages.

The museum will also participate in Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day program on Sept. 22 with free admission to the museum gallery. To add to the celebration and coinciding with the Traditional Arts Day programming, there will be two showings of the Smithsonian Channel™ program “Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth” at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Cultural Heritage Center Education Room. 

“The Smithsonian Channel program offers an excellent addition to our Traditional Arts Demonstration Day,” said Museum Director Jay Smith. “Our visitors will get to see some excellent artists at work and get a more accurate reading of the well-known story of Pocahontas.” 

The museum is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT Monday through Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays and most holidays. Call 605-773-3458 for more information about exhibits, special events and upcoming activities.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at

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