Ma'tapiiks

Ma'tapiiks, 1
Ma'tapiiks, 1

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Ma'tapiiks, 2
Ma'tapiiks, 2

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Ma'tapiiks, 3
Ma'tapiiks, 3

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Ma'tapiiks, 1
Ma'tapiiks, 1

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University of Lethbridge, December 2019

 

This mural combined simple outlines of forms found in nature, forms of the geological formation known as hoodoos, and transplants them indoors. After having spent considerable time visiting Áísínai’pi / Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park in the previous year, I became fascinated with the geological and cultural history of the hoodoos.  The Blackfoot name for the hoodoos, ma'tapiiks, translates to "people" in English. According to a story from the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park archives, mothers and fathers who did not follow the original teachings of the Creator were chased out during a time of great division among the people. Some went to live in the forest and others went to live where the badlands are today, never heard from again. Some storytellers say that those disobedient parents were turned into hoodoos, and that is why they are called ma'tapiiks. When you are walking among the hoodoos at Áísínai’pi, it is common to see human-like features and faces in the rock.