Mni Hdathanin – Indigenous Rain-Activated Art
Mni Hdatháŋiŋ (Dakota for “Water Makes Its Own Appear”) uses the power of rain to make the hidden names for our homeland, our art and our voices appear; and to make water’s own energy apparent to viewers. Using a product call Rain Works, Mni Hdatháŋiŋ will place temporary eco-friendly stencils on sidewalks that are only revealed when it rains, when water meets the earth.
Bdote is a location near Fort Snelling that has long been a spiritual location to the Dakota people and is a firm representation of our homeland, in more than one way: traditionally, it is where the Dakota tribe is believed to have begun. It is also the place where the American government held Dakota people captive before being exiled from Minnesota after the US-Dakota War of 1862.
Bdote, the word itself, means where two rivers meet and implies where two villages/people meet — the Mni Hdatháŋiŋ project is a bdote; where rain and earth meet, where Native voices meet the eyes of the public.
Mni Hdatháŋiŋ is created by Marlena Myles and is a project of Homeland: Native Artists Create on the Ave, a collaboration of All My Relations Arts, Native American Community Development Institute and Springboard for the Arts.
The Homeland project featured seven Native American artists and was shared with the public at Franklin Open Streets 2016 long the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Many times, Natives are a hidden population in American society; Bdote along the Mississippi river is a hidden location that many don’t know the history or sacredness. My project uses the power of rain to make the hidden names for our homeland, our art and our voices appear; and to make water’s own energy apparent to viewers.
If you have ideas for future Mni Hdathanin creations or would like to have our art at your location, please contact us below.