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  • 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
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    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?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

    Comment


    • #3
      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, 11:41 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        gee

        I would of liked to see the old tipi.

        Comment


        • #5
          amazing

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

          Comment

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