Butch Thunder Hawk

Horse effigy stick, Cottonwood, bison hide, and horsehair, Butch Thunderhawk, PM 998-20-10/75283.

Butch Thunder Hawk, Hunkpapa Lakota, is from Cannonball, South Dakota, a community on the Standing Rock reservation.  He spent much of his childhood and youth learning traditional Lakota culture and arts from his grandparents and from other tribal elders. Later, he received formal artistic training at the California College of Art and Crafts in Oakland.  Thunder Hawk, who works in a variety of media, has been teaching traditional tribal arts at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota since the late 1970s. "People taught me," he says, "and now I have to give that back by teaching others." With guidance from tribal elders and assistance from his students, he created many objects for Monticello's recreation of President Jefferson's "Indian Hall."   He also assisted with the graphic design for this exhibit.  Thunder Hawk is known for his fine horse memorial sticks, which were traditionally carved to honor war horses killed in battle.