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1985: 50 Works for 50 Years

Emelia Iron Necklace

"untitled (hymnal cover)"

Reverend Frank M. Thorburn (1902–1994) spent the summer of 1930 at Wakpala on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota, his first visit to the Niobrara Deanery of the Episcopal Church. He was ordained in April 1931 and returned to Wakpala in September of that year to begin his ministry. He was given the Lakota name Wakin Inonpa or Two Packs and adopted by Lulu White Eagle, who had lost her natural son. Thorburn and his wife Abigail moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1932 and served there until 1952, settling in Brookings thereafter. They donated an important collection of American Indian objects to the South Dakota Art Museum from 1985-1986.

This Dakota Bi-Lingual hymnal with beaded cover was given to Thorburn by Amelia Iron Necklace (1867–1936) in about 1931. Amelia Iron Necklace told the Thorburns that the meaning of the beaded designs was as follows: “The front red beads with eagle are for the Dakota, for we are all Americans. The date, 1928 is when her husband, Joshua Iron Necklace, died. The back is white for the English. The horse was her husband’s favorite, that he rode to church while carrying his books. The middle of the spine is brown, a mixture of red and white, indicating that the two peoples, Indian and White, have to learn to live together and sing together.”

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