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August Newsletter: Getting Ready For Fall

Here in the Black Hills there is always a distinct change for each season and you can feel fall is coming. Historically the Plains Indians would prepare meat and store it, botanicals gathered and stored as well, winter hunting grounds established and plans made on how to survive the winter.

One constant item was your lodge or tipi, without it you could not survive this environment. The tipi was the perfect solution for any traveler across the vast Plains, it could be erected or dismantled quickly and the shape could virtually survive most weather conditions. You repaired the hides, made sure the poles were sound and could hold the weight of hides. A tipi was also a work of art and painting your tipi was a huge undertaking, tipi painters were in demand and paid well for their skills.

Jim Little Wounded creates a mini version of a tipi covering with deer hides. He paints a moment in time when one lone warrior had to defend his tipi from intruders.

We have added more titles to our bookstore and this one is fascinating with 200 beautifully colored photographs of artifacts from the archives of the Smithsonian. "Infinity of Nations" will help anyone interested in learning more about Native cultures of the Americas.

This collection opened as a display at the George Gustav Heye Center Museum in New York City where it generated popular interest and evolved into a permanent "Infinity of Nations" display at that facility. The Heye Center is also a branch of the Smithsonian Institute. Cecile R. Ganteaume is an associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. 

For those folks who needed to prepare botanicals for winter, we did get our shipment of sweetgrass from the nice folks from Cree country, when the boxes arrived they smelled awesome!

Most people burn sage after burning sweet grass as this will keep less positive forces at bay. The dried and prepared braids of sweet grass have been a trade item on the Northern Plains for millennia.

While we watch the season change from summer to fall we wish all the kids going back to school good luck and safe travels to all.