Dancing Contest, 1966

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Oscar Howe, known to his people as Mazuha Hokshina, or Trader Boy, broke barriers by defying the stereotypical confines of Native American art. After graduating from the Pierre [S.D.] Indian Boarding School, Howe enrolled in the renowned art program at the Santa Fe Indian School, where he was encouraged to paint scenes from everyday life. Using contemporary techniques, he painted elements of his Yanktonai Dakota heritage. His complex use of color brings life to the actions of his figures, like those you see dancing in this painting. He excelled at using light to create movement. Whether his figures are dancing or in ceremonial practice, Howe’s ability to create stories remains unmatched. His work shared the heart of his culture and heritage. Mazuha Hokshina was truly a master of contemporary fine art.

Dancing Contest
Artist Life
(Yanktonai Lakȟóta), 1915 - 1983
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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