Long ago, the Elk once had ivory tusks. The only remnants of their tusks today is two ivory teeth in the back of their mouth. When the Dakhóta made a kill, they would harvest and utilize every part of the animal.
The elk had only two ivory teeth, so it was a sign of cunning hunting abilities if you had them. This also meant you could take care of your family and were capable of nurturing them.
The Isaŋthí (knife camp) Dakhóta were well known for their use of elk ivories for earrings, jewelry and other creations. The elk gave our people health, nutritional value and strong spiritual well-being. We honor them by wearing their ivories.
Reuben Kitto Stately is a Isaŋthí Dakhóta Miskwaagamiwi Zaaga Iganing (Red Lake) Anishinaabe artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a fourth year college student working on a degree to become a Dakhóta Language immersion teacher.
Imitation elk teeth (mimicking ivories), brass beads, bone beads (cow bone), fire polish glass beads (colors)
sky blue: 29”