A day late for this one but I’ll chalk it up to being located in the dark corners of the globe known as Sweden. As I understand it, yesterday’s Google Doodle was mainly presented to computer users located in the North Americas. No wonder considering the topic specifically related to the American History. Februari 22 marks the 145th birthday of Zitkala-Sa, a writer, composer, teacher, musician and member of Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Born in 1876, Zitkala-Sa led a remarkable life characterised by indigenous pride of heritage and culture at a time of forced assimilation. As a young girl, Zitkala-Sa was enrolled at a Missionary boarding school where she was forbidden to speak her own language and practice her religion.
Later she would return to her reservation to document oral stories told among her tribe. She was also skilled musician and would go on to write the first indigenous opera.
Given the honor of illustrating Zitkala-sa for Google is none other than Chris Pappan – a definite Kiva Gallery favorite. Pappan explains how he approached the task of representing Zitkala-sa
All of the elements in the artwork relate to Zitkala-Ša’s life in some way. Her Lakota name translates as “Red Bird,” she wrote an opera relating to the Sun Dance, and she was an accomplished musician—all reflected within the Doodle. She also witnessed great upheaval and change throughout her life, as symbolized by the tipis. The lettering for “Google” is based on a beadwork design from one of her traditional dresses.
Since day one, Kiva Gallery has applauded every step Pappan has taken and we are glad to see his art get more and more exposure.