(Yellowstone National Park, WY) – In Celebration of Yellowstone National Park’s 150th anniversary, the Mountain Time Arts (MTA) group organized a project called Yellowstone Revealed, a “series of place-based projects by an inter-tribal group of Indigenous artists and scholars,” which took place from August 17-28.
Patti Baldes, Fremont County local, artist and organizer of the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative, was asked by MTA to contribute, which culminated in the REMATRIATE project, which had a theme of restoration and giving land back “specifically to the buffalo.”
“The focus is connection, honest obligation to the land, self and healing,” Baldes commented.
The project involved creating moving buffalo sculptures made of willow branches, red birch and chokecherries, with 12 dancers, all women and matriarchs, bringing the buffalo sculptures to life.
Local musician and artist Christian Wallowing Bull led 10 drummers while the buffalo dancers performed, singing the Floyd Red Crow Westerman cover of the Johnny Cash song “Drums.”
“It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever been a part of in my personal life as well as my professional career,” Wallowing Bull commented.
“It is an honor to take part in such a powerful historic intertribal event. Shout out to Patti for the vision for rematriation. I stand with all my relatives.”
The ceremony was performed both August 24th at Madison Junction, and August 25th at Old Faithful.
Check out some photos of the event below.
For first hand accounts of their performances, check out the KOVE 1330 AM / 107.7 FM Coffee Time interview with Baldes and Wallowing Bull below, (and be sure to tune in to Coffee Time every morning at 8:00 AM on KOVE 1330 AM / 107.7 FM, or stream it live right here).