One Lakota Woman’s Perspective – Ep. 3

My Family Ledger Art

My Family Ledger Art - Sandy Swallow

Sunboy, Lighting Girl, and Starboy

How would I as a Lakota Woman have portrayed my story on a Buffalo hide?

The first thing that comes to mind is my family. As a wife and Mother my first thought was my children.

Sunboy is my oldest son Clint.  The name came from the design on the hip of his horse. That is a well-known symbol for the Lakota sun.  When the kids were growing up we lived on a Ranch in Southwest South Dakota.  Clint was truly a cowboy as he had his own horse, a little Shetland named Eric.  Eric was given to us. (Note to self: be careful when a horse is given to you because there is usually a reason 😉

Eric’s disposition was ornery and stubborn.  Every time Clint got on him he would try to buck him off until he got tired. I think Clint learned to hang in there and not give up from that experience. Clint was always a hard worker and grew up to be a good father and husband.

Lighting Girl is my daughter Jackie. On her horse there is a bolt of lightning on the neck and a bear paw on the hip.   She loved to ride horses and would jump on bareback.  Racing down to the bluff overlooking the Cheyenne River. She helped cook for branders and milked cows. There was always plenty of chores to do on the ranch.  Now as a Lakota woman she is a hard worker and has a true heart for her people.

Starboy is my youngest Matt. I wanted to honor my grandmother who was Northern Cheyenne.  So the Star on the hip of the horse is the symbol of the Cheyenne Morning Star.  Matt has always had hundreds of friends and is a charmer like his dad and grandpa. I think growing up on the ranch taught him to be very self-sufficient. Whatever he puts his mind to he can figure out a way to get it done.

So these pictures and thoughts were a part of my story.  Perhaps you have someone in your life that you should acknowledge.  Let them know how proud you are of them and that you don’t take them for granted. Remember time can slip away.


Watch a video version of this blog below and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for Sandy Swallow Artist.

Sunboy (Clint)

Lightning Girl

Lightning Girl  (Jackie)


Starboy (Matt)

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