Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Old Native American Indian Tepee Displayed

A 150 year old tepee made of bison hide was recently displayed at the Nez Perce Historical Park in Idaho, United States. This tepee, one of just a few surviving tepees of its kind, is made from 16 to 20 bison hides and represents a way of life that disappeared with the buffalo in the 1880s. "This tepee belonged to my great-grandmother, the wife of Chief Lawyer," said Mylie Lawyer. "My father lived in it when he was little. At night, they would roll up the edges, look at the stars and hear the stories of their people." Park rangers from the National Park Service worked the soft hide onto 15 red fir poles. The bottom of the tepee was frayed and it sustained significant water damage, requiring about two feet to be cut from the bottom. "It was a lot bigger and in better shape before," said tribal elder Horace Axtell, who displayed it for the National Congress of American Indians during the 1950s ­the last time the tepee was shown publicly. The tepee stayed up for less than an hour while people carefully climbed inside and had their pictures taken standing beside it. Of the six or seven bison-hide tepees left in the United States, half belong to the Native American Indian Nez Perce Tribe.

For articles on native artwork, see Native American Indian Art Articles and to see authentic native art pieces, see Free Spirit Gallery Northwest Native Indian Art.

No comments: