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  • Tapun Sa Win Exhibit Catalog Tapun Sa Win Exhibit Catalog
  • Tapun Sa Win Exhibit Catalog Tapun Sa Win Exhibit Catalog

Tapun Sa Win Exhibit Catalog

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The companion publication to the third exhibition developed under the auspices of the CAIRNS educational initiative. Tapun Sa Win, is based on a Lakota narrative that established a kinship bond between Lakotas and the Star People.

A baby boy was miraculously born when his Lakota mother Tapun Sa Win (Red Cheek Woman), fell from the sky to her death. His father, a star, was so grief-stricken that he sat down and has remained in that place ever since, the only star that does not move, the North Star. The boy, Fallen Star was raised by Lakotas and grew up to accomplish many wondrous deeds before returning to the sky world of his father’s people.

In traditional thought, Lakotas are related to almost all entities in the universe. This kinship network relates Lakotas to their ancestors in the underworld, and to the past and future spirits in the sky.

The story of Tapun Sa Win is based on Lakota traditions, when children are born they are given a wanági, a spirit, from the star. They then live their life with that wanági. But when they die, that spirit leaves their body and goes to the middle of the cup, Wicákiyuuhapi, the Big Dipper. There, on a blanket stretched between them, the four stars of the cup, called the "carriers," carry the spirit to the Wanági Thachánku, the Milky Way.
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