Life Size Tipi
Sue Ford NPS
The authentic life size tipi in the Museum of Westward Expansion was made by Larry Belitz of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Mr. Belitz a master craftsman has constructed over 300 bison hide tipis over the years. He started working on this tipi Christmas Day of 2008 and delivered the finished tipi January 20, 2009. He then lead the National Park Service Exhibits staff in erecting the tipi in the museum.
This tipi is constructed of nine buffalo hides stretched around a frame of fifteen, 18’ lodgepole pine. These pine trees are used to make the tipi poles because of their size, strength and flexibility. The buffalo tales were left on the hides both as decoration and for functionality as a way to close flaps on the tipi. The tipi lacing pins used to close the tipi above the door are made of chockcherry. This tipi is a replacement for one Mr. Belitz made for the museum over 30 years ago.
Sue Ford NPS
Transcript coming soon.
Did You Know?
On September 10, 1804 on Cedar Island, in South Dakota, William Clark discovered the fossilized remains of the ribs, backbone and teeth of a plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs were animals who lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, but swam rather than walking on land. Clark thought it was a giant fish bone! More...