Uŋktómi & the Copyrights of the Dakota/Lakota Language


Add a touch of style to your walls with my one of a kind artwork! Purchased print will not contain watermarks. Custom sizes are available upon request.

I created this after reading more and more how outside entities (linguists, researchers, universities) are copyrighting Indigenous languages and making it very difficult for tribes to freely use knowledge that have been passed down for generations. Details about how this is happening to the Lakota language can be read at the Lakota Language Reclamation Project

Uŋktómi (also spelled Iktomi, Ukto/Ikto, Unktome, Inktomi) is the trickster spirit in Dakota/Lakota culture, with many, many stories existing that illustrate lessons we should be aware when it comes to our behaviors and others. One such story told by Oliver Gourd, a tribal elder from my reservation, the Spirit Lake Dakota tribe, tells us of Uŋktómi’s prediction of how we would lose our culture. I adapted that story to warn about the modern dangers of outside entities copyrighting Indigenous languages and preventing tribes from using their ancestral knowledge without paying for it. I have started my own Dakota publishing company, Wiyounkihipi Productions, to help keep the language part of the tribe’s communal culture. We all should be aware of the need to both speak and protect our languages.

Additional information

Dimensions N/A

Canvas: 20 x 24, Metal print: 20 x 24, Watercolor Paper: 20 x 24

SKU: 051 Category: Tags: ,

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