St. Stephen’s Indian School Documentary on making of a Buffalo Hide Tipi showing today and tomorrow

St. Stephen’s Indian School Documentary on making of a Buffalo Hide Tipi showing today and tomorrow

(Wind River Indian Reservation) – The documentary on the making of a buffalo hide tipi by students at St. Stephen’s Indian School debuted this morning at the Wind River Hotel and Casino’s Entertainment Room. The effort was undertaken to preserve the Tribe’s cultural ways, and included not only the tipi, but the Tribe’s language as well.

A tee shirt with the documentary's title

The story of the making of the tipi, which was said to be the first buffalo hide tipi to be made by Arapaho Peoples since the late 1800s, is the centerpiece of the documentary. The student’s journey from seeing one of only five remaining buffalo hide tipis in existence, to acquiring hides and tanning them, to using traditional ways to make the tipi, to the finished product is documented in the film. The tipi was copied from the one in the Smithsonian Institution’s collection in the nation’s capitol.

Elder and storyteller William C’Hair was the master of ceremonies at this morning’s showing before three busloads of students from Arapahoe Elementary School and  dozens of tribal members. The film is being screened both today and tomorrow in two hour intervals, through 8:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The tipi itself was erected in the middle of the entertainment room as the focal point of the showing. DVDs of the documentary, and other memorabilia, are on sale during the two day-long event.

William C'Hair pointed out others in the audience who helped with the production of the tipi and the film.