Four Lakota Tepees, a fire ring and some Brule Lakota trade goods. All the items are models of real objects with accurate scale, textures and material colors – with verbal permission of Lower Brule Tribal Government members.
Three of the tepees have closed-flaps over the entryways. The tent fabric is slightly windblown, as are the cloth streamers from the tent pole tops. The fourth tent has the leather flap pulled open to reveal the tent floor, and a fire of glowing embers and ash-colored fire logs.
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A larger, more complex fire of burning logs and embers and ashes is included for outdoors. A pile of dead logs can be placed alongside the fire. (There also are three individual logs and ten individual dead tree branches (all with chopped chisel marks) than can be scattered around the scene.)
The most important item is an accurate scale model of a old Brule medicine pipe whose exact age is unknown. The Medicine Pipe has a accompanying buckskin (tanned deer skin) bag with typical beadwork. There also is a beaded knife sheath made as a copy of a real object, of about 50 years of age. A wooden handled “trade knife” (meaning of low quality) is inside the sheath, but is an independent object. It is often the case that very high quality Native American beaded leather goods were partnered with relatively low-quality trade goods, such as steel knives.
These two items can be placed on the woolen “trade blanket”, also of Brule Lakota design. Two versions of the trade blanket are included in this product for your convenience. One trade blanket is flat, but it has an articulated skeleton, so that you can arrange it on uneven ground. The second version is simply draped over a boulder. When the Medicine Pipe and Knife Sheath were first shown to me, they were simply placed on top of this trade blanket, draped over this boulder as modelled here.
Addendum – A few years after making these models, I was able to purchase the original pipe and knife sheath, and donate them to a local museum.