Paha Ska

Today I was reminded of a summer I spent in the Black Hills working at a fast food window.  Most of the summer crowd was fast and loud, but not the guy who stood across from my window, who I knew only as “Paha Ska” (pronounced pah HAH skah).

pahaska post cardIn the daytime Paha Ska stood on the sidewalk in full Sioux chieftain’s regalia (he wasn’t really a chief, but he had a special dispensation from the council to wear the outfit.)   Once I went with his helper to take the horses from where they had a trail ride concession to a pasture higher in the hills. There is nothing like riding a horse through gently sloping mountain paths with the cool smell of mountain pines in the air.

PakaSka crazy horse gifts1At night Paha Ska painted pictures that were sold in the Indian shop where he always stood.   I remember one of a Native American face painted on velvet that someone pointed out to me.

Paha Ska’s utterances could only be described as laconic.  Once in a blue moon he would walk across the street and order a soft drink: “One Coke. No ice.” “Leo says I’m supposed to put ice in all the cups.”  “One Coke. No ice.”

Another day when Paha Ska crossed the street for his soft drink, Leo’s snazzy red convertible was parked in front of the window.  Paka Ska bent over it to write something with his finger.  After my 14 hour shift was over (I was paid by the month) I went to look.  “WASH”

Last summer I passed through the Black Hills for the first time in years, and missed seeing Paha Ska out on the sidewalk.  Nothing lasts forever, and I wondered if he was still alive, but no one could tell me anything.  But now we have this wonderful thing called the internet and we can find out this type of information with just a few clicks.

Sure enough, his obit from a Rapid City paper is reprinted in a geneology website, and now for the first time I know his real name, Orville Francis Salway (October 23, 1923-November 10, 2005). He died at the age of 82.

As a child he roamed the hills around Pine Ridge, riding the horses his father bought and sold, hunting and trapping the creeks. He attended the boarding school in Pine Ridge. He was fluent in the Lakota language, taught by his grandmother Millie and mother Winifred, and loved the stories they told of the old days, which found their way into his artwork later.

Early on he exhibited a talent for art. His first creations were cartoons drawn on grocery sacks done in pencil. In fourth grade, his teacher submitted one of his drawings of a coyote howling to the Omaha Word-Herald, and its publication birthed a career. He painted under the name “Paha Ska” (White Hills) after the buttes around the family homestead south of Allen, a name given him by Ben Black Elk.

After leaving school he worked on farms and on a buffalo ranch at Camp Crook, South Dakota which supplied meat for the war effort. He also worked in the oil fields in Wyoming and on bridge construction, as a semi-pro boxer, and, with his brother Vincent, as extras in many movies filmed in the Black Hills, such as “White Savage” and “Trials of Chief Pontiac.” He also worked as a pipe layer for the Oscar Jones Construction Co. Rapid City….

PakaSka shadow of the great spiritIn 1956, after an auto accident, he began working in Keystone selling his artwork to the tourists at the Indians Store. Later he posed for photos in traditional Northern Plains garb with a horse. The most famous of these was a bay quarter horse mare named Kippy, who he worked with for 20 years.He continued selling his artwork and ran a trail ride concession. Quiet, sober, humble and soft-spoken, he proudly represented his people as Goodwill Ambassador of Keystone for 48 years, meeting thousands of people, selling over a quarter million prints and hundreds of original oils and hide paintings which are in private collections, museums and even palaces all over the world.

Apparently Paha Ska still has a following in the UK.  You can see some of his art reproduced here.

Paha Ska means “white hills” in Oglala Lakota and may have been the original name for the Badlands, in contrast with paha sapa for the Black Hills.  (Our dormitory cat was named “Sapa Weeya” or black lady).

UPDATE: Paha Ska’s daughter, Barbara Salway-Jensen, comments below that her father was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2007. His bio there offers two more tantalizing tidbits. First, he appeared in several movies filmed in the Black Hills, but doesn’t say which ones.  I couldn’t name even one movie filmed in the Black Hills.  Second, it says he was named Paha Ska  (White Hills) by Ben Black Elk, but doesn’t say who this was or how it happened.  Possibly this is the same Ben Black Elk that is the son of Oglala Sioux medicine man Black Elk of the book Black Elk Speaks. Here is the text of the South Dakota Hall of Fame biography:

Orville Sr. “Paha Ska” Salway from Pine Ridge, SD
Inducted in 2007
Category: Indian Heritage

DOB: October 23, 1923
POB: Pine Ridge, SD
DOD: November 10, 2005
Buried at: Cremated

Orville Francis Salway was born in a soddy on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to William and Winifred Janis Salway. He was educated at the OCS boarding school in Pine Ridge, leaving after 9th grade. He worked in the oil fields, on ranches, in construction, as a boxer traveling in shows, and played in several movies filmed in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

All his life he loved two things: horses and art. Demand for his paintings made it possible for him to breed better horses, and his artwork was sold all over the world through art shows and through being an artist in residence at Mt. Rushmore. Dressed in traditional garb and eagle feather headdress, Paha Ska (White Hills) as named by Ben Black Elk, was official greeter and goodwill ambassador for the town of Keystone for 48 years.

As a side note, I tried to find out more about the “Oglala Lakota language”.  I could only find the “Lakota” language, listed in Ethnologue as well as in wikipedia. Somewhere along the line, I heard that the Sioux tribes were divided into Lakota, Dakotah, Huron, Sisseton, Yankton, and Oglala (in South Dakota at least), that some of the tribes don’t necessarily like each other (because of language differences?), and that they were discouraged very strongly from speaking native languages when they lived at the Indian boarding school at Flandreau, but I never heard what languages they speak.

~~~~~~~~~

ANOTHER UPDATE:
“Handprint of No Return” (from comments below):

“It is of a wounded warrior who makes a last attempt after the battle to get a final message to his tribe because he knows he won’t make it. The handprint is red (his blood) and the horse will find its way back to the tribe.”

YET ANOTHER UPDATE:

Some of Paha Ska’s work is on exhibit at the Crazy Horse museum in the Black Hills. I thought I remembered a tipi painted by him outdoors on a wooden deck, and his daughter confirms in the comments below that a tipi and some of his paintings are now displayed in the museum.  On the Crazy Horse monument’s website, the tipi can be seen on this page, also here. Right,  a map of where most tribes are located today (clickable), available from the Crazy Horse gift shop.

A BUFFALO HUNT:

Paha Ska drawing on hide. (photo by commenter beastes; thanks beastes and Pam) Images are clickable.

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73 Responses to “Paha Ska”

  1. wendy (cummings) riddle Says:

    Glad you got to meet one of my most treasured family members!! Paha ska was my great great uncle! I got to meet him twice in my life and so charish the memories. If you know of any art work up for sale I am allways interested!

    • Carolyn Williams Says:

      Wanted to let you know that we have two pieces of Paha ska artwork that will be going up for Auction on Saturday Jan 16, 2010 in La Porte, IN. We have a nortorized letter from Susan Salway saying that this is his work. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

      • Nijma Says:

        Thank you for this information. I will email it to those here who have expressed an interest. Also there are two subscribers to this thread (I have no way of knowing who) and I don’t know if embedded comments work in this theme–I know there is a bug with google reader–so I will repost your information below as well. I’ll add your email address too until after the sale, disguised so the spambots can’t read it.

      • Bill Gorman Says:

        This painting I just placed on ebay is signed Carolyn Byrnes Williams (best I can tell from signature) I am trying to find information on the artist, medium, date and value.
        http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220580575539

    • beastes Says:

      See my comments below on this page. I listed a painted hide on ebay. The listing runs through January 31, 2010.

      • Susan Says:

        beastes, I finished the restoration on the shelter cape. It’s on my Facebook Page if you get a chance to check it out.
        Susan Salway

        • Danny Peggy Driesel Says:

          Hi Susan I was down in our basment cleaning and going thru all the Paha Ska prints we have and the main one is the painting we have hanging in the living room. I saw you said you have a facebook page but could not find it. Mine is Danny Driesel. Please contact me miss talking with you. Your frends forever
          Danny and Peggy Driesel

          • Susan Says:

            OMG! It’s so good to hear from you! I’ve only been on facebook for 2 weeks and I don;t know how to contact me either. I’m fine, living in the studio, and have a brand new business and will have a website up soon. Tried other work but kept getting dragged back into Native American artwork, so I do restorations and sell other artists work. Will try to get to your facebook page.
            Susan

    • pj belmonte Says:

      hello!my name is pj belmonte,i have a resale shop in delavan,wisconsin and i also run moving and estate sales.the sale i’m running 3-22,23&24-2011 happens to have a signed picture of paha ska called “wounded warior”.i was hopeing you might know where i might be able to find out the value of this beautiful piece of art.my cell phone number is 708-856-5646,my adress is 1610 beckman dr,delavan.wisconsin,53115.any information would be really apprieciated and a blessing,thank you very much.i look forward to hear from you!thank s again,pj belmonte

      • Nijma Says:

        Hi pj, I will answer your comment at the end of the comment section, because I know there are some people who subscribe to this thread, and I don’t know if they will see nested comments.

  2. Nijma Says:

    Sorry, no art work here, although it looks like there are reproductions available.

    I was out there the summer of the flood, after the dormitories of the Ruby House got washed away and I slept in the storeroom between the potatoes and the soap. I was traveling with my sleeping bag and my thumb–literally all my possessions were crammed in the bottom of my sleeping bag, and I hitchhiked into town looking for work. I was so fortunate that summer to end up in what is possibly the most beautiful place on earth.

    Besides seeing Paha Ska across the street every day, I also saw him painting at night at the Indians once or twice–but usually I was working at that hour. He looked totally different without the chief outfit, and someone had to tell me who he was.

    The day we took the horses up to the pasture we had to ride a short distance on the main highway. Paha Ska’s assistant was way ahead of me and I was afraid of losing him. The horses had three speeds: walk, trot, and gallop, and my horse kept trotting, which was very bouncy and uncomfortable, so I kept urging it into a gallop, which was very smooth. Paha Ska showed up–I guess he had passed us on the road–and commented about me liking the horse to gallop. I couldn’t figure out if he was trying to say it was too strenuous for the horse, or if he was just letting us know he had seen us on the road. It was very hard to read what he was thinking.

    Yes, there was something remarkable about his presence that made you stop your train of thought and focus on the moment.

    • Susan Salway Says:

      Hello!
      Thank you for your inereest and comments on my husband’s artwork. He would have been so happy to hnow so many people remembered him. In the near future rhere will be a website which I am calling Two Wolf Moon Gallery which will feature prints produced in the last year of his life as well as some I have had made since his death of his artwork. i have been able to buy back some of his pieces and resstore them to their original beauty using his dyes and brushes with the techniques he taught me. I would love to hear from you.

      Sincerely,
      Susan Salway ( Mrs. Paha Ska Salway)

  3. Elaine Lewandowski Says:

    In 1980/81, my husband had a business trip to Colorado. We decided to make it a family vacation and took our two young boys and ventured out west. Our little boys being interested in cowboys and Indians we somehow stumbled onto an Indian reservation. We were greeted by a kind Indian, Paha Ska, who talked to the boys and offered to show us some wares.. He poceeded to show us reproductions of his work and offered them to us. I cannot remember the price.
    When we returned to our home in Mich. I framed them as best I could and hung them on our fireplace, where they hang to this day.
    The two prints we purchased were the one you have illustrated and another similar style with the end of the trail type rider with the spirit rider in the background…
    As there is no title on these prints and I have been unable to get titles on any literature, I was hoping you could title my treasures..Thank you.

    • Nijma Says:

      Check the gallery I linked to:
      http://www.lakotacrafts.webeden.co.uk/#/paha-ska-gallery/4516899360
      Several of their photos look like the prints you describe, with titles that look like they were written in the same hand as Paha Ska’s signature (click on the picture to enlarge).

      • Elaine T. Lewandoski Says:

        Thank You,
        I now know the name of the one print (Vision Quest), but sadly could not find the other print.
        Elaine

        • Nijma Says:

          Did you try just googling “Paha ska”? If you can’t find the exact name, maybe you can find something with a similar spirit that explains the concept behind the picture–it seems to me the Native American themes they express are pretty universal themes… which is why people are so touched by them.

  4. Ann Marie Says:

    Hi, I am also trying to find a title to a painting I had purchased several years ago. It is of a warrior on his knees next to his horse. Looks like it was after a war, spirits are in the background. It is signed and numbered, 271/1000. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

    • Nijma Says:

      I’m not a collector or an art aficionado. I just knew him and was saddened to learn of his death.

      The only thing I can suggest is to check for similar paintings at the above gallery:
      http://www.lakotacrafts.webeden.co.uk/#/paha-ska-gallery/451689936
      or google “Paha Ska” and follow the links to the websites that sell reproductions of his work.

    • Susan Salway Says:

      Ann Marie,what you have is a limited edition print, number 271 of a thousand, and this was the first limited edition print that he did. It was printed in Chicago, and these have become scarce. I have seen Handprint of no Return on eBay for prices ranging from $500 to $2000 depending on condition and issue number.
      Susan Salway (Mrs. Paha Ska)

      • Anonymous Says:

        Thank you so much for the information Susan. Unfortunately, due to the economy, I may be listing it on Ebay. I don’t want, to as it has been the main focus of our living room for many years now. It is framed and in excellent shape from what I can tell. Still waiting on my final decision, I hate to part with it! I do love reading all the stories behind the paintings, what a wonderful and knowledgeable man he must have been. Thank you for sharing, wish I could have met him!

        • Susan Says:

          I didn’t have one myself until last week. I found one in a pawn shop. Unfortunately it is moisture damaged so I will try to have it reframed to correct the damage. I know someone who wants to buy one if you want to sell it.
          Susan

          • Ann Marie Says:

            Susan, regrettably, I do believe I will be selling my painting. You can pass along my information to the person who is interested if you wish. My email address is: raggedyannandy4@yahoo.com I do appreciate all the information you have provided, thank you.

            • Susan Says:

              Hi Ann Marie,
              Ok, I’ll email her today.

              Susan

              • Kim Says:

                Susan, I have a painting by Pahaska. I collect Indian artwork but I know very little of it. My painting looks like a burial where the Indian is above ground and the horse is underneath him and it looks like spirits in the back ground. This painting is signed and framed I bought years ago. Do you know what painting this may be?

  5. Ann Marie Says:

    Thank you for your reply. I did google, that’s what brought me here :) I will continue to look though. Thank you!

  6. Henry Says:

    I have a oil painting Paha Sha,that is also signed by him.I read up on him and what a joy it is to have something that special in my house.
    Thank you,
    Henry

  7. Barbara Salway-Jensen Says:

    Thank you for this piece. Paha Ska was my father.

  8. Barbara Salway-Jensen Says:

    The painting of the warrior kneeling down by the horse sounds familiar. It may be one that has a name in Lakota. If you can explain it alittle better. I will find the name for you.

  9. Nijma Says:

    You’re completely welcome, Barbara. It is a pleasure to remember him.

    Ann Marie left an email address and I have emailed her. Perhaps she will get in touch.

  10. Barbara Salway-Jensen Says:

    That would be nice. Thanks.

  11. Barbara Salway-Jensen Says:

    A note to add to your story. My father was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame for 2007. He would of been deeply humbled at the number of people that remember him and tell their stories of meeting him. He met so many over the years.

  12. Nijma Says:

    Very interesting, thank you. I added a link to the Hall of Fame information.

  13. Ann Marie Says:

    Sorry it took me so long to respond! This time of the year is crazy for me. Please feel free to pass on my e-mail. I will try to post a link to the picture, not very good at this. Thanks sooo much!
    [IMG]http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/raggedy4/picture/003.jpg[/IMG]

  14. Nijma Says:

    Ann Marie, I have passed on your email address with your image attached.

  15. Barbara Salway Says:

    Ann Marie,
    I am sorry it took me awhile to answer about your painting. It is called “Handprint of no return” It is of a wounded warrior who makes a last attempt after the battle to get a final message to his tribe because he knows he won’t make it. The handprint is red (his blood) and the horse will find its way back to the tribe. I hope that helps.

  16. Nijma Says:

    What a moving story. Thank you.

    I’m not sure if I should do this, but I put Ann Marie’s picture at the end of the post so anyone who reads this can see the picture. If someone thinks it’s not appropriate, let me know and I’ll remove it.

    Does anyone know if any of Paha Ska’s work is in a gallery anywhere? Maybe in the Crazy Horse museum?

  17. Ann Marie Says:

    Thank you so much! It so nice to have the story to go along with the beautiful painting.

  18. Barbara Salway Says:

    Paha Ska does have paintings at the Crazy Horse Museum. The teepee that sits inside the museum was painted by him. They also have several paintings displayed. There were many private owners but my father lived on the money he made from each painting to he didn’t keep any for long. My brothers and I each hold one that is an original but I wish I had kept more.

    There are prints of some of his work. My brother owns a frame shop in Chicago and can be reached at indianart@att.net He would have more information.

  19. Nijma Says:

    For those who have expressed an interest in buying Paha Ska’s work, please see the comment above by Carolyn Williams who says,

    Wanted to let you know that we have two pieces of Paha Ska artwork that will be going up for Auction on Saturday Jan 16, 2010 in La Porte, IN. We have a nortorized letter from Susan Salway saying that this is his work. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    [sale over]

    There are also two works on E-bay right now:
    Chief Wolfrobe on canvas [sale over, but the artwork can still be viewed]
    Ben Black Elk Medicine Man on rabbit hide.

  20. Pam Ramsey Says:

    To Elaine Lewandowski:

    If you contact me, I can provide you titles to your paintings.

    pamclip@yahoo.com

  21. beastes Says:

    I have a Paha Ska painted hide with a very nice image of a buffalo hunt that I am considering putting on ebay. I have enjoyed it for years but took it down for a remodel about 5 years ago. I think it is deerskin but might be elk. If I do put it up for sale, I’ll try to get back here and let you know.

    • Pam Ramsey Says:

      Beastes: I am interested if you contact me. thanks Pam

      • beastes Says:

        I listed the painted hide on ebay. The listing ends on Sunday January 31st.

        • Pam Ramsey Says:

          Beastes: I must say that the hide is a beautiful piece was was well represented on Ebay!! Your descriptions were right on target and it will be spectacular displayed on the wall! You took great care to pack this item well and it arrived as crisp as the day it was shipped!! Thanks so much…

          Pam Ramsey

          • beastes Says:

            It’s always hard to “know” whom you deal with on eBay. I have bought items on eBay only to find out they weren’t as represented. But I am one of those who is more worried about karma and my own spirit than making a buck. So I treated this whole transaction as I would want to be treated.
            I am glad I found ths board and very happy that the painting went home. I enjoyed it for years.

            • Susan Salway Says:

              Hello Friend

              I have the hide and plan to restore the color to its original state. i was blessed to be taught by my husband all his secrets of color making. i will be using his easel, brushes and colors, and when it is done I will email you a photo.

              Sincerely,
              Susan Salway (Mrs Paha Ska Salway)

              • beastes Says:

                I’ll look forward to seeing it restored. I still think of that picture and how it absolutely captured the essence and energy of the hunt. The proceeds of the sale will help my stepson to advance his college education in Indian Studies.

              • Nijma Says:

                I would be happy to post any photos. It is remarkable how he was able to capture so much spirit and feeling of the scene with just a few lines.

          • Nijma Says:

            Thank you beastes for posting about it here. I very much enjoyed looking at that drawing.

            Beastes, would you mind if I added your photo of it to the information above? And would Pam Ramsay as the new owner mind if I put up a photo of it?

            • beastes Says:

              I’m ok with it, but it’s up to Pam now. If you can’t copy the pictures from the Ebay listing, let me know and I can email them to you. That image is striking to me, so it’s certainly a good one to post.

              • Pam Ramsey Says:

                Yes, it is a striking image and its ok with me if its posted. Beastes it has been a pleasure doing business with you and we are much in agreement about Karma. That’s exactly how I feel too!!

          • Nijma Says:

            Done. Thank you both. I used a screenshot and brightened it a bit with an image editor. If someone wants to email me a photo with a higher resolution, I can make that available here too, my email addy is in the right side bar.

  22. Nijma Says:

    Here is a link for the painted hide with the buffalo hunt that beastes has on Ebay.

  23. Peryl Says:

    Over thirty one years ago, out of Bakersfield, Colorado, a roadside store had a painting of “No Return” that intrigued me so I eventually bought it. Over the years it has been at my place and I have wondered what the picture meant. At 63 yrs of age, because of cancer and the economy, I’m in college and an English assignment concerning critiquing a picture brought the picture out. My daughter went onto this computer concerning the artist and I am nicely surprised about my picture plus the artist. Thank You for what it means and that his work is acknowledged. Thank You from Peryl

    • Kip Says:

      Peryl;
      Like your daughter I found this online researching the piece of art. I bought a signed and numbered print of “No Return” at an auction in 1992 of a bar that was going out of business. I was also intrigued to see a picture of it on the internet and it’s story! I am now looking to sell some art work and wonder if you have any idea of it’s worth, or know someone that does. Thanks. Kip in Littleton Co.

  24. Nijma Says:

    Good luck with your studies, Peryl. I got my first degree on my 45th birthday.

    How did we ever get along without the internet? When my mother was in her 70’s she took a computer class to learn how to email, but everything I know about the internet I learned just by watching people and trying things.

  25. Joel Patterson Says:

    I remember Paha Ska very well. I was looking for unique pieces of artwork and had been recommended to go to the Black Hills store and inquire about pieces by Paha Ska.

    When I arrived I saw a massive buffalo hide covered with stunning artwork. I’ve traveled all over the world collecting artwork and very few pieces make me stare point-blank, but this one did. After purchase I asked if it was possible to meet Paha since I always try to meet the artist if at all possible. Paha was ill at the time, but graciously agreed to meet me.

    When I got there I remember Paha being told that I had purchased “The Big One”. He was very happy for me and I’ve always remembered that moment.

    It’s still the centerpiece of my art collection and gets the same stares for others that it got from me that day. One day I’d like to see it in the Museum of the American Indian here in DC, but not yet, not yet….

  26. Nijma Says:

    Joel, is there any chance that you have a photograph of it you could share? I would be happy to add the photo or to link to it if you have it online somewhere.

    I am also hoping to link to Susan Salway’s Wolf Moon Gallery blog when she gets it online. I haven’t been able to find it, so maybe it isn’t ready yet, or maybe I just don’t know where to look. (It’s very easy to start a free blog…)

    • Joel Patterson Says:

      I will do so as soon as possible (my camera died this weekend, so I’ve got to find another one…)

  27. Susan Salway Says:

    Hello,
    The website isn’t up yet. It seems I hired the wrong person as a web designer…it’s been 5 months and he has nothing up for me. Technology is still a bit of a mystery, but I’m getting better. I renmember Joel when he came to see Paha Ska. He was so sick then, but so enjoyed his visit. I have just finished restoring a buffalo hide and will try to send a photo to your site. This is also a “big one”, 7’x9′ and in wonderful condition, and it is for sale.

  28. Nijma Says:

    Susan,

    You should have an email from me now, sent to the address you put on your last comment.

    You can start a blog for free at wordpress.com. If you ever do get a website going, you can always move everything there later.

    If you want to send me a photo attached to an email, I would be happy to post it. I love seeing the artwork.

  29. Nijma Says:

    Susan has very kindly sent me the photograph of the painting. You can see it here:

    https://camelsnose.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/paha-ska-painting/

  30. Marlene Coffey Says:

    I have a print by Paha Ska of a warrior kneeling over a white buffalo apparently grieving as the white buffalo was considered sacred. I would like to know the value and the name of the print please if anyone knows

  31. Nijma Says:

    Susan Salway has just started a blog at http://aviewfromtheheads.blogspot.com/. She is also on Facebook.

  32. patrick kersjes Says:

    recently acquired: young hunter on gray/white horse w/ 3 @ bison. Value?

  33. Shawn Says:

    I have been vacationing in the Black Hills area for going on 43 yrs. now(haven’t missed a year!). My Grandfather was Oglala Lakota & at an early age he & my Grandma started bringing my Mom, myself & my brother to the Hills. Which, is where I was first introduced to Paha Ska at the age of 5 or 6. He always had time to tell a story. Over the years, I have collected many of his pieces over the years..all signed by him & directly to me by name. My most prized, is a Bison skull he did for me in 2003 or 2004. He was an amazing artist. So intent on his work. You could see in his eyes that he was in that far off place he was painting. I have spent more hours than I can count, over the years talking with Paha Ska…listening to his stories & just shooting the breeze. My daughter met him in 2002 & loved him so much. He gave her, her first Lakota name. She never wanted to leave his side once she saw him, & talked about him throughout the year. She could hardly wait each Summer to see him. Keystone just isn’t the same anymore without his obvious presence. We were so saddened by the news of his passing in 2005. Driving through town just seems so empty without him. We will miss him so much & always remember his kind heart. I will NEVER part with my paintings or skull no matter how hard times get, nor how much money I’m offered(& I have been offered a lot of money for them.)But, they mean the world to me & remind me of the man who called me ‘Kola'(means friend in Lakota). I was/am proud to be his Kola & will never forget him as long as I live…neither will my daughter & my Mom.

  34. Nijma Says:

    Thank you for such a special memory.

  35. Ben Sleijster Says:

    I am from the Netherlands and wanted to visit some parcs like Yellowstone to take a video. I met Paha Ska in 1991 in Keystone working on a very nice piece of art. I am 20 years of angry on myself I didn’t bought anything. I saw the video, cause I’m re-editing the video from 1991 (taken on Hi-8).
    I read that I’m much too late now for Paha Ska is dead now. But still I enjoied the video of him. I Hope you do also.
    The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4nmTGvOdeI

  36. Nijma Says:

    Ben, that was great. I loved seeing more of his art and also hearing him speak “the Sioux language”. I was there in 1972, but he didn’t look that much different then.

    If you still want to buy some of his art, maybe his wife could help you. She is on Facebook. Also something comes up on Ebay once in a while.

  37. Lori G Says:

    Hello,

    It was wonderful watching the vidoe posted on this site and seeing some of Paha Ska’s art. I worked one summer for him on the trailrides behind the big sign where the two roads in Keystone merge.

    He was a very neat man. I too wish I had been wise enough to get a picture with him and to purchase his art! I beleive I worked for him the summer of 1978.

  38. Nijma Says:

    I worked out there in the summer of 1972. There was no money – I think we made something like $125 a month at the Ruby House – so I wouldn’t have been able to afford anything there anyhow.

    I only went once with Paha Ska’s helper. I remember a trail on the other side of the Iron Creek on the hill above the town.

  39. Nijma Says:

    For those who are interested in buying Paha Ska’s work, pj belmonte (see above comment) wants to sell a signed picture called “Wounded Warrior”.


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