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Greetings,
 
     This is the elder that I was honored to have had the opportunity to meet while I visited South Dakota in December.
 
     She was a sweet and loving elder grandmother.  She passed away last Sunday morning (02/18/07) around 5 AM.

Nellie Two BullsNellie Two Bulls
(Oglala Lakota)
Pine Ridge, South Dakota

Mrs. Two Bulls was born and lived over 79 years in the Payabaya Community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.    She is a direct descendent of Chief Man Afraid of His Horse.  Nellie was married to Matthew Two Bulls for over 50 years and together they had seven children.  The family now includes 30 grandchildren and over 64 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and over 100 hunka children and grandchildren.  At the age of 12 Nellie received her Indian name Zintkala To Win (Blue Bird Woman) through a vision in which she was given the gifts of Songs and Stories.  Since this time she has dedicated her life to fulfilling this vision by teaching the culture, songs and traditions of the Lakota People.  Nellie says, "My art is my ability to sing and tell stories about my people, the Oglala Lakota.  I have spent the majority of my life telling stories, and singing the traditional Lakota songs.  This is my contribution to preserving our culture."

"Grandmother Nellie's mind and spirit are sacred repositories for the songs and stories of the Lakota people.  Her voice evokes the old days but resonates with all who listen to her in these changing times.  Whether at home on Pine Ridge Reservation, on the road to some cultural event in thecountry, singing an honoring song, or telling a story to instill virtues, Grandmother Nellie's artistic expression will continue to educate and enliven community members and visitors long into the future."  -  Jeff and Linda Lea Viken, Nominators  


Biography
Nellie Two Bulls

 Nellie Two Bulls, Oglala Lakota was born and lived over 79 years in the Payabaya Community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She is a direct descendent of Chief Man Afraid of His Horse. Nellie was married to Matthew Two Bulls for over 50 years and together they had 7 children, 30 grandchildren and over 64 great grand children, 1 great great grandchild and over 100 hunka children and grandchildren.

 At the age of 12 Nellie received her Indian name Zintkala To Win (Blue Bird Woman) through a vision in which she was given the gifts of Songs and Stories. Since this time she has dedicated her life to fulfilling this vision by teaching the culture, songs and traditions of the Lakota People. Nellie has not only shared her songs and stories with her people, but has traveled extensively throughout the United States. She has been called upon to sing at local Tribal gatherings, national conferences and a cherished moment is when she sang an honor song at a memorial service in remembrance of Robert Kennedy in Rhode Island.

 Nellie taught the Lakota culture at Red Cloud Indian School for over 20 years and many of her students, now grown still call her grandma. She was a member of the Lakota Advisory Committee for the Journey Museum, and Board Member for KILI Radio. Nellie served as a Tribal Council Representative for Wakpamni District. She was honored at the Northern Plains Tribal Arts for dedication to passing on traditions, the South Dakota Living Indian Treasure Award, she and her husband were honored by the city of Rapid City by Proclaiming “Matthew and Nellie Two Bulls Day”, and she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Black Hills Pow wow Association. Nellie was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Oglala Lakota College.

 Nellie has a strong commitment to continue sharing her wisdom and knowledge so that future generations will know their culture and identity. She is an asset and living treasure to the Oglala Lakota People.

 

 

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