Exhibit Information

Brooklyn Museum

Address 200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Click here for quick directions
Phone Number 718-638-5000

Website http://www.brooklynmuseum.org

TIPI: Heritage of the Great Plains

Opening: 18 FEBRUARY 2011 - Closing: 15 MAY 2011

 TIPI: Heritage of the Great Plains

Lyle Heavy Runner Tipi

Long before Americans had Mobile-Homes, the First-Americans had Tipis—better-known as TeePees to Tourists.


If you want to experience Living on the Prairie—Indian-Style—you can at least try sitting-down, or Squatting, in an actual Tipi, specially created & decorated for the new show at the Brooklyn Museum!


But there’s a Tent-Protocol posted outside: Among other Don’ts, don’t touch the Tipi’s Walls or Hides!


The fascinating new Exhibition at the Brooklyn-Museum focuses on the Tipi as the Center of Plains-Culture & Social, Religious, & Creative-Traditions, from the early 19th-century to the present.


Tipi Interior
This show examines the Tipi as an Architectural-Form, an expression of Plains Artistic & Cultural-Identity, & an Interior-Space for Domestic & Ritual Uses.


Cradleboard Sioux 1870-1900
The Exhibition features more than 160 Objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection of Plains-Materials—as well as works from other museums, plus Objects by Contemporary-Plains-Artists.


There are also Three Full-Size Tipis, two with Furnished-Interiors.


Cheyenne Doll
Tipi: Heritage of the Great Plains includes objects from a large number of tribes from the Northern, Central, & Southern-Plains: the Blackfeet, Crow, Arapaho, Lakota, Osage, Kiowa, & Southern-Cheyenne, among  others.


Organized thematically, it focuses on five Key-Objects—four Tipis & a  Tipi-Liner—to demonstrate  Common-Links among the many diverse peoples of the Great-Plains.


Themes explored include the Role of Women, who were the Owners of the Tipi & Makers of the Tipi itself, as well as of the Furnishings, Clothing, & Accessories kept within it.


Also illustrated is the Traditional-Role of Men-as-Warriors, whose Military-Exploits are depicted on Tipi Covers & Liners. Then, there’s role of the Tipi as the center of Childhood & Family-Life.


Tipi Completed Installation
One of the exhibition’s focal-points is a large Blackfeet Painted-Tipi, created by Blackfeet-Artist Lyle J. Heavy-Runner for the Brooklyn Museum. The Tipi is decorated with a Bleeding-Buffalo-Skull-Design that was given to Heavy-Runner by the late Robert L. Crawford, who, in turn, had received it from his grandparents.


The Right to paint Specific-Designs is passed-down, from generation to generation, through a Ceremony.


This Tipi soars 25-feet-high. Visitors are encouraged to enter it to experience first-hand what a Tipi looks like from the inside. Watch the slideshow to see the construction of the tipi within the museum.


Rain-in-the-Face Tipi Liner Detail
Another featured-object, the Brooklyn Museum’s Rain-in-the-Face Painted-Tipi-Liner, is an Illustrated-Narrative, painted in 1889 by the Húnkpapa Lakota-Warrior, Rain-in-the-Face.


A Tipi-Liner is a large sheet of hide or muslin [as in this painting] that is hung around the Inner-Tipi-Wall & records a Warrior’s Exploits in Battles.


Rain-in-the-Face Tipi Liner Detail 2
The Rain-in-the-Face-Liner—a rare example from earlier Reservation-Times [1880-1920]—is also important because it was not commissioned by a Non-Native-Patron, but instead reflects the Warrior-Artist’s Personal-Choices of Significant-Events.


A full-sized-replica of a Lakota Buffalo-Hide Tipi, created by Ken Woody  [a Mohawk] is an example of the Tipis used by Plains-People during the Pre-Reservation Era—before 1860.


Measuring ten-feet in diameter, this object was created with eight to ten Buffalo-Hides. It could comfortably accommodate a small family. Its furnishings include a Buffalo-hide Robe, a Willow-Backrest, Storage-Bags, & Weapons.


Another highlighted object is a Southern-Cheyenne Canvas Tipi from the Milwaukee Public-Museum, dating to about 1904. This is rimmed by a Beaded-Liner & decorated with matching Backrests & Pillows.


The Tipi is decorated with beaded-horizontal-lines & Circular-Medallions in the Sacred Southern-Cheyenne Colors of  yellow, red, blue, & black. The Medallions represent the Sun, Stars, & the Four-Earthly-Directions.


Finally, the Exhibition features a Crow child’s-play Tipi, surrounded by dolls, toys, & games, as well as exquisite Cradles & Clothing.


The Show includes two-sections of Photographs: One features contemporary Plains Family & Community-Life. The other presents photographs of contemporary Native-American-Architecture, inspired by the Tipi-Form.


You can buy your very own Tipi-Kit in the Gift-Shop!


Also, Don’t Forget: Don’t Pipi in the Tipi!
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