Sonja Holy Eagle was born in Eagle Butte, South Dakota and lived on both the Cheyenne River
and Pine Ridge Reservations. Her father was in the military so Sonja’s family moved around frequently, thus she also had opportunity to stay with her grandparents often, and spent a great deal of time with her grandfather, James Holy Eagle
Sonja is a self-taught artist; her love for drawing began when as a child she would spend hours copying cartoons from newspaper, simply to entertain herself.
Surrounded by tribal artists, Sonja's talent blossomed. Her grandparents traditional art deeply influenced her, and her mother Cathy Brings Horse, a life-long Star Quilt maker was able to to help Sonja learn about the craft of using of color. Sonja also learned about traditional designs by creating beautiful beadwork.
Sonja's artwork combines her unique, whimsical style with structured traditional designs, her figures - two-legged or four, dance across the traditional drums that are piled and hung around 'Dakota Drum' and which are coveted by collectors around the world. Unsurprisingly she has earned a litany of awards for her work.
You can meet Sonja in person and visit her gallery in the Black Hills on our "I Am Lakota," "Lakota Dreamkeeper" and "It's ALL Indian Country" tours. We encourage you to visit Sonja at her website www.dakotadrum.com where her work is available for sale.
April/May 2012 Artist in Residence: Don Montileaux (Lakota)
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