OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Hulu commissioned a mural based on the Oklahoma-filmed, award-winning series Reservation Dogs, and it is now on display at the First Americans Museum.
Anishinaabe artist Blake Angeconeb said the piece was inspired by humor, community, friendship and family.
“This mural is meant to acknowledge the journey that the main characters went on over the show’s three seasons, and all the youth they’ve inspired across Turtle Island. It is done in my traditional Anishinaabe woodlands art style, which is used to tell stories, but with a contemporary twist,” said Angeconeb. “The four main friends are depicted as Thunderbirds, often considered the most powerful entities, representing strength and protection, with their friend, Daniel, watching over them. I named my piece ‘Young Warriorz’ because I wanted to honor how groundbreaking Reservation Dogs was for Indigenous representation, and how important it was for me personally to see my community and culture portrayed on screen.”
Angeconeb also added several ‘Easter eggs’ to the piece.
- The dinosaurs are a reference to Season 2, Episode 6, when Native influencer Miss M8triarch honors the “Dinosaur Oyate” during her Land Acknowledgement. “Oyate” is the traditional Dakota word meaning “people” or “nation.”
- The deer represents the Deer Lady, who made an appearance in each season.
- The three figures behind the horse depict Bigfoot, who also appeared in every season.
- The owl’s eyes are blurred as an owl is seen as a harbinger of death in many Native American cultures. It is wearing a pickle medallion from Season 1, Episode 4, when Auntie B suggested Bear give it to his father as a gift.
- Finally, the mailbox/1491 street address is from Rita & Bear’s house. The “1491s” were a comedy troupe that Co-Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner/Writer/Director Sterlin Harjo formed with Dallas Goldtooth (“Spirit”), Ryan RedCorn, Migizi Pensoneau & Bobby Wilson in Oklahoma.
You can view the mural for yourself at the First Americans Museum through December 4.