Edwin Dennis Brown (Ho-Chunk) fondly known as Hayna (meaning 2nd Son in the Ho-Chunk language) is a respected artist and a roadman of the Native American Church. He was born in 1941 in Winnebago, Nebraska. Hayna first moved west to Los Angeles in 1967 and then moved to the Bay Area in 1974.
Hayna has been an artist for as long as he can remember. In 1974, Hayna met Pauline Miller (Pomo/Coast Miwok and Costanoan) and they were married in 1979. They have three children, Wendy, Paul, and Jessica.
Hayna attended Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Art as well as the University of Nevada at Reno. His paintings focus on his spirituality and Native culture. He works in acrylic and oil, wood and linocuts, etchings and other print techniques.
Hayna’s work has been shown at the National Museum of the Native American in DC. He has produced CD covers for Native American Singers such as Chanti Pierce and Gerald Primeaux as well did the cover art for the documentaryThe Red Road to Sobriety by filmmaker Gary Rhine (Kifaru Productions). Hayna also had a painting in Huston Smith’s book One Nation under God. In addition to his artwork, Hayna played the role of Virgil in Benjamin Bratt’s flim, La Mission.
Hayna met Leatrice Mikkelsen, a well known Native American artist, in 1978 through Pauline who was taking one of Leatrice’s College of Marin classes. Leatrice recognized not only Hayna’s love of art, but his immense talent and encouraged him to further pursue his training and work. Leatrice and her husband at the time, Peter Mikkelsen, were touched by the character and way of Hayna and his wife Pauline so much so they chose them to be the God parents of their youngest daughter, Hadezbah.
Hayna worked in collaboration with fellow artist Leatrice Mikkelsen on the White Buffalo painting which is the logo for the White Buffalo Woman Council. Leatrice sought out his expertise with the details of the buffalo face knowing Hayna’s extraordinary abilities as a realist painter. He is able to beautifully capture the details and emotions of the faces of all creatures. She was honored to collaborate with him on the White Buffalo painting.