Look what we found just a stone's throw away from our apartment. We traveled around 5000 miles to run into an exhibition about the Lakota (Sioux) tribes of South Dakota. What a interesting exhibit. It was put on by Alessandro Martire, an Italian lawyer who became interested in this native american community at an early age. We had the good fortune to meet him and spent around an hour talking with him. By the age of 18, he was living and studying in America. He spent ten years living with a Lakota tribe in Rosebud , South Dakota, becoming an honorary member of the Lakota Sicangu nation. Upon his return to Italy, he began working for Italian recognition of the Lakotas as a sovereign nation (which he accomplished). He became an International Lawyer for the Lakota Sicangu Nation at the High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. He was hired as a consultant for the movie "Dances With Wolves". Some of his exhibit items were also in the movie ( the bow and arrows as well as the knife belt pictured against the red tapestries). We also had the good fortune to witness the making of an obsidian spear head by traditional methods. The pictures depicted here and in subsequent postings are from this excellent exhibit.
This exhibit is only a small portion of the Lakota items Alessandro Martire has accumulated over the years
The first picture is the demonstration of making a spear head. The gentleman doing the actual fabrication is from Ireland and specializes in making ancient weaponry using traditional techniques. The gentleman standing right behind him in the yellow polo shirt is a consultant from the Smithsonian museums in Washington DC. In the second picture, the man in the leather jacket standing next to the demonstrator is Alessandro Martire, the creator of the Lakota exhibit. The third picture shows the tools needed to make the spearhead along with the finished product. The final picture depicts the Lakota (and A. Martire's) philosophy. It was an excellent exhibit and we enjoyed speaking with Alessandro. He continues to work pro bono for the acceptance of the Lakotas as a sovereign nation. He has arranged for the exchange of students from Florence and the Lakota nation in South Dakota to visit each other.