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Douglas Fast Horse

Oglala Lakota
(b. 1943)

Douglas A. Fast Horse, of Oglala descent, was born in 1943 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He attended school at Holy Rosary Mission and Oglala Community School, both in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Later, he graduated from Central High School in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Fast Horse also completed three and a half years at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota. There, he majored in Independent Studies, Comparative American Indian Studies and Psychic Anthropology.

Fast Horse’s interest in art began as a youth when he did cartooning and sketching. He soon moved in to other areas like oil painting and craftwork, too.

Working primarily in graphics, he tried to incorporate his feelings of culture, heritage and tradition in his work. Fast Horse also worked to convey the customs and lifestyles of the Native people to both natives and non-natives.

As he grew in graphics and oil painting, Fast Horse also engaged in craftwork like pipestone carving, featherwork and doll making. Fast Horse spent much of his time making jewelry from pipestone and other materials such as bone, abalone, mother-of-pearl, turquoise, brass and silver beads.

Using various drills and files, the artist carved miniature eagles, water birds, peace pipes, buffalo skulls and buffalo designs from pipestone; then, with pieces of other materials, he began to produce jewelry like necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Later, Fast Horse developed a talent for beadwork.

The first comprehensive showing of arts and crafts by Fast Horse was a special exhibition by the US Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board Sioux Indian Museum and Crafts Center in 1980. Fast Horse has exhibited and sold his art at a number of expositions and art shows including the Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Northern Plains Tribal Art Market, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Images of the Old West, Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Western Trading Post in Denver, Colorado; the Squash Blossom in Chicago, Illinois; the Red Cloud Indian Art Show, Pine Ridge, South Dakota; the Arizona Art Show in Scottsdale, Arizona and the Rapid City Arts and Crafts Exposition, in Rapid City, South Dakota. In 1995, he also designed school book covers for Harcourt Brace & Co. of Orlando, Florida.

Fast Horse’s works are represented in a number of public and private collections, including former Governor of South Dakota Richard Kneip; a set of lithographs belonging to Princess Grace of Monaco; The Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Bloomington Historical Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Images of the Old West Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Some of his prints and oil paintings were commissioned by a noted French artist Antoine of Paris, France. Fast Horse was also commissioned by Jim Offield, Sedona, Arizona to create a collection of leather and beaded objects.

Today, Fast Horse is pursuing the Star Woman Tipi Complex, a unique place where all Indian children can learn their culture, tradition, song & dance, storytelling and language. The complex would be built in the western part of Pine Ridge, SD.


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