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Old 06-16-2005, 05:56 PM   #1
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Post Rare Tipi to be Displayed

Idaho's Nez Perce display rare 150-year-old tepee

06/16/2005
Associated Press


A 150-year-old bison-hide tepee, one of just a few
surviving tepees of its kind in the U.S, has been
displayed at a national historic park in northcentral
Idaho for the first time in a half century.

Wearing crisp white gloves, National Park Service
employees at the Nez Perce Historical Park gingerly
brought the fragile tepee out of storage Wednesday to
be photographed.

The photos were taken for the National Park Service's
"Teaching with Museum Collections" program, which is
based on the premise that National Park sites keep
troves of artifacts in their collections that the
public will never see.

The tepee predates the 1,400-mile flight of Chief
Joseph in 1877, when the leader of the Nez Perce tribe
and a band of some 700 followers fled an advancing
U.S. Cavalry before ultimately surrendering near the
Canadian border. Made from 16 to 20 bison hides, the
artifact marks a way of life that died out with the
buffalo in the 1880s.

"This tepee belonged to my great-grandmother, the wife
of Chief Lawyer," said Mylie Lawyer, who entrusted her
collection of Nez Perce artifacts to the Park Service.
"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."

Lawyer's great-grandmother received the teepee from
the Crow Tribe, which today has a reservation in
Montana, she said. Of the six or seven bison-hide
tepees left in the United States, half belong to the
Nez Perce Tribe, said Kevin Peters, a Nez Perce
Historical Park ranger.

Nez Perce baskets, fishing tools, flutes, drums,
regalia and a canoe also are being photographed for
the project to fit with the park's chosen themes *
ancient times, seasonal cycles, continuity and change,
and trade.

Next week, 16 teachers from the region will attend a
workshop to create online lesson plans to accompany
the Nez Perce artifacts. The plans will be used by
schools around the country, said Alyse Cadez, another
park ranger.

The Nez Perce collection is the 15th to be
photographed by the Park Service, and the fifth site
to hold a teaching workshop, said Joan Bacharach, a
curator with the National Park Service Museum
Management program based at Washington, D.C.

"The Nez Perce collection is magnificent," she said.
"The artifacts are absolutely exquisite."

Unlike traditional museums, the program allows
artifacts to stay in the places and with the people
they were used by, Bacharach said.

About 40 people watched Wednesday as park rangers
gingerly worked the soft hide onto 15 red fir poles,
stopping several times to readjust the fraying bottom.
Years ago, it sustained significant water damage,
requiring about two feet to be cut from the bottom.
The edges have holes and are a much lighter shade of
tan than the rich brown tip.

"It was a lot bigger and in better shape before," said
tribal elder Horace Axtell, who displayed it at the
Hotel Lewis-Clark in Lewiston 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
snapped standing beside it.

--
2005, KGW-TV


* * *
Relevant Links:

* Nez Perce Tribe - http://www.nezperce.org
* Teaching with Museum Collections - http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/tmc
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Old 06-17-2005, 01:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
Idaho's Nez Perce display rare 150-year-old tepee

06/16/2005
Associated Press


Of the six or seven bison-hide
tepees left in the United States, half belong to the
Nez Perce Tribe, said Kevin Peters, a Nez Perce
Historical Park ranger.

Tipis,

Uh, Mr. Peters is not too well informed. Whatcha' think?


I say there's more like 26?
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Old 06-18-2005, 10:38 AM   #3
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I didn't want to burst the bubble with the news that there are more hide tipis out there in the US. But you are about right as that number is more correct. 150 is an old tipi and there are fewer of those and then we get in to the 125 year range and so on. I am hoping to get photos of this event from some friends of mine who were there.

Last edited by tipis; 06-18-2005 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 06-19-2005, 10:14 AM   #4
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Smile gee

I would of liked to see the old tipi.
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Old 10-22-2005, 07:45 AM   #5
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amazing

Quote:
Originally Posted by janet
I would of liked to see the old tipi.
this brings tears, tipi keeper, luvv to see it
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