Award-winning illustrator Donald F. Montileaux has put another ancient Lakota tale to paper. Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend features a Lakota translation by Agnes Gay and is the newest children’s book from the South Dakota State Historical Society. It is a story of adventure, discovery, loss and renewal, set to beautiful ledger-style illustrations that illuminate the story of the horse and its importance to the plains people.
Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend uses traditional storytelling methods to impart wisdom to new generations. Readers journey with a young warrior as he tracks a strange new creature across the plains. Far from home, he discovers beasts that run as swift as the wind and shimmer with many colors. The young Lakota warrior captures and tames them, and his people grow rich and powerful. Then the Great Spirit, who gave the gift of the horse, takes it away.
“This book is an important addition to our collection of stories for children. Don has created a visually stunning work of art and, together with Agnes Gay, has preserved a piece of Lakota culture,” says Nancy Tystad Koupal, Director of the South Dakota Historical Society Press.
Donald F. Montileaux is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Tasunka is the first time he has worked with the South Dakota State Historical Society as both an author and an illustrator. Montileaux contributed artwork to the multi-award winning South Dakota Historical Society Press book, Tatanka and the Lakota People: A Creation Story, and illustrated The Enchanted Buffalo, part of the Press’s Prairie Tale series. An award-winning artist, illustrator, presenter, and consultant on Lakota culture, he uses his art to tell traditional Lakota stories. Montileaux lives in Rapid City, South Dakota, with his family. He dedicates Tasunka to Alex White Plume, who provided the catalyst for the book.
Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend is available for $19.95 plus shipping and tax and can be purchased from most bookstores or ordered directly from the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Visit www.sdshspress.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (605) 773-6009. Tasunka is appropriate for first- to fourth-grade readers or as a book to be read aloud to younger children.