Plant Sciences

Accessibility


| Share

Zuk Receives Lakota Star Quilt

Alan Zuk was presented a Lakota Star Quilt by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in honor of an outreach he made to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, St. Francis, South Dakota, in January.
 
 

February 6, 2018

Alan Zuk was presented a Lakota Star Quilt by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in honor of an outreach he made to the St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, St. Francis, South Dakota, in January. Zuk is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University.

Zuk arranged to haul a load of dry beans donated from research to the St. Francis Mission (see story here). St. Francis Mission Chief Operating Officer Rodney Bordeaux and Mission President Father James Kubicki, S.J. surprised Zuk with the presentation of the Star Quilt after the beans were unloaded. Bordeaux is a past president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is a branch of the Lakota Sioux Indian nation. The Lakota people are well-known for creating and giving Star Quilts. The Morning Star pattern is an important symbol to the Lakota, symbolizing new beginnings or a new dawn (St. Francis Mission Quiltcards). Star Quilts are one of the most important gifts a Lakota member can give and are given to demonstrate honor and respect for the recipient. It is the giver’s wish that the recipient be “blessed with this simple covering of good thoughts and best wishes.” (DeCory, 2005)

The Star Quilt presented to Zuk was handmade by women from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Individual women piece together and sew the quilt tops. They carefully choose the colors for each of their designs; yellow, red and orange, as found in the quilt Zuk received, represent the sun (St. Francis Mission Quiltcards). Once the quilt top is assembled, a group of women gather to put together the quilt top, batting and quilt back, hand sewing the three layers. More than a dozen women in the tribe work together and are teaching younger women the art.

Zuk says he accepted the quilt on behalf of all the individuals who were involved in the project – Juan Osorno, NDSU dry bean breeder, grew and harvested the beans with his team; Tom Walk, NDSU staff member, helped load the beans onto the truck; and James Steinberger, graduate of the NDSU Crop and Weed Sciences program, was Zuk’s connection to the Mission and was present to help unload the beans.

Sources: Alan Zuk; Rodney Bordeaux

References:
Rosebud Quilts and Quilters, St. Francis Mission Quiltcards, Rosebud Indian Reservation, St. Francis, South Dakota
The Star Quilt, revised 2005, Jace DeCory, Lakota, Associate Professor Emeritus, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.