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Melvin Miner

Minneconjou Lakota
(1956 - 2010)

Melvin V. Miner, Jr., Maka Sitomni Iyank (He Who Runs Around the World), was born on August 4, 1956 in Igloo, South Dakota to Melvin V. Miner Sr. and Eloise Bad Wound.

He graduated from Central High School at Rapid City, South Dakota in 1975. He attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota from 1975 to 1979 majoring in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

In 1981, Melvin learned the techniques of creating arts and crafts from friends and relatives. He began visiting major museums throughout the United States to research, study and photograph the older traditional artifacts of the Titonwan (Teton) Sioux.

Miner began by carving red pipestone. After awhile, he tried his hand at working with buffalo, elk and deer skins. He found this media more suitable to him. Miner’s techniques were instrumental in maintaining cultural heritage. In addition to his cultural talent Miner was also involved in organizing and participating in the performing arts as a member of the Black Hills Lakota Performing Arts Group.

In 1985, Melvin formed the Black Hills Pow-Wow Association, a group which continues his work of promoting Indian celebration events in the Black Hills area and performing for schools and other interested groups.

Melvin Miner, one of South Dakota’s notable contemporary Native American artists, died on December 15, 2010.


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