Native fashion on display at Yellowstone National Park
By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service
Reprinted from publicnewsservice.org
Indigenous designers and artists from across the West converged on Yellowstone Park June 11-14 for the first Yellowstone Tribal Marketplace and Fashion Show, which showcased the arts and culture of the Northern Plains Native people.
One of the featured designers was Della BigHair-Stump of Crow Agency, owner of Designs by Della. She describes her work as fashion meeting culture and includes designs from her native Crow, or Apsáalooke Tribe, in gowns, dresses and active wear.
BigHair-Stump says Native American designers are gaining recognition nationwide.
“At first it was probably just a handful of designers from here, from the Plains and then down to the Southwest,” she says. “But it is getting its popularity throughout Indian Country and also the non-Indian communities as well.”
BigHair-Stump knows something about the growing popularity of Native American designers. Earlier this year, she traveled to Paris to be part of International Indigenous Fashion Week.
The Yellowstone fashion show took place June 11 at the Old Faithful Inn, and the marketplace continued through June 14 with displays and demonstrations. Representatives from the American Indian College Fund and Montana Department of Commerce planned to attend.
Carrie Moran McCleary, a designer from the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, showcased designs from her brand, Plains Soul. McCleary says it’s a big deal that Yellowstone is hosting Native American artists.
“We’re excited about the park recognizing that, as tribal nations, we are still here,” she says. “Originally, the park is Native land. The Nez Perce people, the Nimiipuu people, were hunting, gathering and camping in the area that is now Yellowstone National Park.”
McCleary says acceptance of indigenous people in the park has fluctuated over the past century.
In addition to BigHair-Stump and McCleary, participating artists and designers included Traci Rabbit, Rose Williamson, Danetta Old Elk, Joanne Brings Thunder, Samuel Jaxin Enemy-Hunter, Scott Frazier and Cedar Rose Bulltail.
(Photo): Designs by Della is the brand of Crow designer Della BigHair-Stump