Field Trip Quests: Tipi

Field Trip Quests: Tipi

Tipi

In the Tipi Quest, students meet young people from Dakota communities today and explore contemporary expressions of longstanding traditions in art, food, and language.

Level 1: Students explore what inspires artist Bobby Wilson, who creates by combining old and new. Students discover a pair of 1880s Dakota moccasins, then compare their floral designs to art Bobby made using spray paint and skateboards.

Level 2: Students meet Bobby’s friends—Dallas, Sasha, and Vanessa—and learn how they keep Dakota traditions alive. Dallas uses porcupine quills to make jewelry, Sasha cooks with traditional foods, and Vanessa shares places in Minnesota that were named for Dakota words.

Digital Artifacts

Avis Charley

This painting was done in 2012 by a Dakota artist. Her name is Avis Charley. It shows women on a journey. They are from different generations. They experienced pain together when they lost their land.

According to Avis, these women stayed courageous. They stayed generous, too. Look closely at the painting. Can you tell it was painted on top of a map?

Avis Charley

This painting was done in 2012 by a Dakota artist. Her name is Avis Charley. It shows women on a journey. They are from different generations. They experienced pain together when they lost their land.

According to Avis, these women stayed courageous. They stayed generous, too. Look closely at the painting. Can you tell it was painted on top of a map?

Bobby

Bobby Wilson is a Sisseton Dakota artist who grew up in Minneapolis. You met him and some of his friends, while playing the game at the History Center.

He writes spoken word poetry, makes humorous films, and designs websites. He also paints murals, often with spray paint. He says, "I'm a city boy. I grew up skateboarding, I grew up writing on walls."

When asked about his art, he explains, "I'm Dakota and I'm still representing my culture and a love for my people but at the same time, I'm also a modern man, and my tools have changed. . . I just want to be somebody that is positive and that maybe some other Indian kids will say, "Well that dude, he's doing all right."

Bobby

Bobby Wilson is a Sisseton Dakota artist who grew up in Minneapolis. You met him and some of his friends, while playing the game at the History Center.

He writes spoken word poetry, makes humorous films, and designs websites. He also paints murals, often with spray paint. He says, "I'm a city boy. I grew up skateboarding, I grew up writing on walls."

When asked about his art, he explains, "I'm Dakota and I'm still representing my culture and a love for my people but at the same time, I'm also a modern man, and my tools have changed. . . I just want to be somebody that is positive and that maybe some other Indian kids will say, "Well that dude, he's doing all right."

Bobby's artwork

Bobby Wilson created this work of art in 2012. To make it, he attached together five skateboard decks (the part you stand on). Bobby spray-painted each deck with different colors and designs.

This artwork is now part of the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. You may remember seeing it at the History Center, near the tipi.

Bobby's artwork

Bobby Wilson created this work of art in 2012. To make it, he attached together five skateboard decks (the part you stand on). Bobby spray-painted each deck with different colors and designs.

This artwork is now part of the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. You may remember seeing it at the History Center, near the tipi.

Bright Colors

Look at these bright colors. Do they remind you of Dallas Goldtooth's cuff?

When Dakota people did quillwork hundreds of years ago, they used dyes found in nature. These dyes often came from plants found in areas where Dakota people lived.

Bright colors were not always available. Today, bright colors are a modern take on a traditional form of art.

Bright Colors

Look at these bright colors. Do they remind you of Dallas Goldtooth's cuff?

When Dakota people did quillwork hundreds of years ago, they used dyes found in nature. These dyes often came from plants found in areas where Dakota people lived.

Bright colors were not always available. Today, bright colors are a modern take on a traditional form of art.

Caŋpa´ (Chokecherries)

This fruit is called Caŋpa´ (say cham - PAH). In English that's chokecherries.

Sasha taught you to make sauce out of them. You might buy berries at the store, but they are found in nature. Caŋpa´ grow on short trees called shrubs.

Their fruit starts out red but turns purple as it ripens. Like many fruits, they taste sweeter when ripe.

Sasha's ancestors had many uses for them. Chokecherries are tasty food, but they are also used as medicine to help with upset stomachs.

Caŋpa´ (Chokecherries)

This fruit is called Caŋpa´ (say cham - PAH). In English that's chokecherries.

Sasha taught you to make sauce out of them. You might buy berries at the store, but they are found in nature. Caŋpa´ grow on short trees called shrubs.

Their fruit starts out red but turns purple as it ripens. Like many fruits, they taste sweeter when ripe.

Sasha's ancestors had many uses for them. Chokecherries are tasty food, but they are also used as medicine to help with upset stomachs.

Cradleboard

This object is called a cradleboard. Its purpose is to carry a baby. You've probably seen parents today using a special carrier to hold a baby close.

This one was made by Dakota parents. Their names are Hope Two Hearts and Galen Drapeau. They made the cradleboard around 1980, but Dakota people have been making them for centuries.

Traditional Dakota people moved from place to place. They followed the seasons. Carriers like these kept babies safe and comfortable.

The wooden stakes allow family members to lean the board against an object like a tree. This way, the infant can stay upright. This cradleboard is made of animal hide. It has designs made from porcupine quills.

Cradleboard

This object is called a cradleboard. Its purpose is to carry a baby. You've probably seen parents today using a special carrier to hold a baby close.

This one was made by Dakota parents. Their names are Hope Two Hearts and Galen Drapeau. They made the cradleboard around 1980, but Dakota people have been making them for centuries.

Traditional Dakota people moved from place to place. They followed the seasons. Carriers like these kept babies safe and comfortable.

The wooden stakes allow family members to lean the board against an object like a tree. This way, the infant can stay upright. This cradleboard is made of animal hide. It has designs made from porcupine quills.

Dakota Communities in Minnesota Today

This map shows Dakota reservation communities in Minnesota today. Dakota people live in Canada and in other states, too. They also have reservations in Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The communities on this map are recognized by the U.S. government. Each has its own leaders.

Maybe your class has studied the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. This war had many painful effects. After the war, many Dakota people were forced by the United States government to leave their Minnesota homeland. Some never returned. Their descendants still live in other states or Canada. Today, Dakota people live on reservations, and in cities and towns all over.

Dakota Communities in Minnesota Today

This map shows Dakota reservation communities in Minnesota today. Dakota people live in Canada and in other states, too. They also have reservations in Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The communities on this map are recognized by the U.S. government. Each has its own leaders.

Maybe your class has studied the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. This war had many painful effects. After the war, many Dakota people were forced by the United States government to leave their Minnesota homeland. Some never returned. Their descendants still live in other states or Canada. Today, Dakota people live on reservations, and in cities and towns all over.

Dallas

Meet Dallas Goldtooth. He teaches people about Dakota culture. He is also a poet and a proud father.

Dallas is an artist who learned skills from his mother and stepfather. His designs are influenced by sunrises and sunsets in Minnesota.

His work often includes star designs. They remind him of stars you can see when day turns to night.

Dallas

Meet Dallas Goldtooth. He teaches people about Dakota culture. He is also a poet and a proud father.

Dallas is an artist who learned skills from his mother and stepfather. His designs are influenced by sunrises and sunsets in Minnesota.

His work often includes star designs. They remind him of stars you can see when day turns to night.

Dallas's cuff

An artist named Dallas Goldtooth made this cuff to be worn on someone's wrist. He spent many hours working on it. Do you remember meeting him in the game?

Notice the cuff's bright colors, which are popular today. Dallas finished this in 2013, but he used traditional methods to make it.

The colorful stripes are made from porcupine quills. The quills were removed from the porcupine skin, then flattened. Next Dallas dyed the quills and sewed them in this design.

Dallas's cuff

An artist named Dallas Goldtooth made this cuff to be worn on someone's wrist. He spent many hours working on it. Do you remember meeting him in the game?

Notice the cuff's bright colors, which are popular today. Dallas finished this in 2013, but he used traditional methods to make it.

The colorful stripes are made from porcupine quills. The quills were removed from the porcupine skin, then flattened. Next Dallas dyed the quills and sewed them in this design.

Glenn

Meet Glenn Wasicuna. He speaks more than one language, but Dakota was his first. He learned it at a young age from adults who spoke it regularly.

Now he is one of the few people in Minnesota who learned it this way. He has said that many American Indians who cannot speak their native language experience pain because of it.

Glenn has spent many years teaching people of all ages to speak Dakota. Teaching students like you about his culture is also important to him.

Glenn

Meet Glenn Wasicuna. He speaks more than one language, but Dakota was his first. He learned it at a young age from adults who spoke it regularly.

Now he is one of the few people in Minnesota who learned it this way. He has said that many American Indians who cannot speak their native language experience pain because of it.

Glenn has spent many years teaching people of all ages to speak Dakota. Teaching students like you about his culture is also important to him.

Holly Young Cuff

This is a cuff, a piece of jewelry for someone's wrist. It was made in 2016 by a Dakota beadworker. Her name is Holly Young and she lives in North Dakota.

She has said, "One of my goals is to bring light to our beautiful traditions and beadwork." To design this cuff, she came to the History Center to see some Dakota items that were made a long time ago. She saw bags, leggings, and moccasins that were made by Dakota people in the 1880's and 1890's.

These items had designs that looked like flowers. Holly's cuff also has floral designs. Some people call cuffs wearable art.

Holly Young Cuff

This is a cuff, a piece of jewelry for someone's wrist. It was made in 2016 by a Dakota beadworker. Her name is Holly Young and she lives in North Dakota.

She has said, "One of my goals is to bring light to our beautiful traditions and beadwork." To design this cuff, she came to the History Center to see some Dakota items that were made a long time ago. She saw bags, leggings, and moccasins that were made by Dakota people in the 1880's and 1890's.

These items had designs that looked like flowers. Holly's cuff also has floral designs. Some people call cuffs wearable art.

Moccasins

These shoes are called moccasins. They were made more than 100 years ago. A Dakota person made them out of leather. They are decorated with porcupine quills. The quills were dyed blue and purple. Notice their flower pattern.

Bobby Wilson wanted his art to look like patterns from long ago. He saw these moccasins and based some of his designs on them. If you look closely at his skateboard art, you may notice similarities.

Moccasins

These shoes are called moccasins. They were made more than 100 years ago. A Dakota person made them out of leather. They are decorated with porcupine quills. The quills were dyed blue and purple. Notice their flower pattern.

Bobby Wilson wanted his art to look like patterns from long ago. He saw these moccasins and based some of his designs on them. If you look closely at his skateboard art, you may notice similarities.

Quills

These spikes are called quills. They came from an animal called a porcupine, which has these standing tall on its back. The white ones shown here are natural, but the green and pink ones have been dyed.

Long before Dakota people came into contact with Europeans, they used quills to decorate things. Today, Dakota artists are finding new ways to use this method to honor the past.

Quills

These spikes are called quills. They came from an animal called a porcupine, which has these standing tall on its back. The white ones shown here are natural, but the green and pink ones have been dyed.

Long before Dakota people came into contact with Europeans, they used quills to decorate things. Today, Dakota artists are finding new ways to use this method to honor the past.

Sasha

Meet Sasha Houston Brown. During Play the Past, she taught you about cooking.

She eats some of the same foods her Dakota ancestors did long ago. These traditions help her express her own identity today.

Sasha wants lots of people to know about her community's contributions. For this reason, she is a writer. Her words can be found online in conversations about her culture.

Most of Sasha's life she has lived in Minneapolis. Organizations across the country invite her to speak about Dakota culture.

Sasha

Meet Sasha Houston Brown. During Play the Past, she taught you about cooking.

She eats some of the same foods her Dakota ancestors did long ago. These traditions help her express her own identity today.

Sasha wants lots of people to know about her community's contributions. For this reason, she is a writer. Her words can be found online in conversations about her culture.

Most of Sasha's life she has lived in Minneapolis. Organizations across the country invite her to speak about Dakota culture.

Spray Paint

Spray paint is a tool Bobby Wilson uses in his art. Do you remember the tipi in the museum? Bobby painted the outside of it with spray paint.

He learned this style of art in Minneapolis, where he grew up. Bobby paints murals to express his culture. "A lot of my spray paint work became heavily cultural," he has said. He points out that his art style works well on tipis.

To Bobby, tipis signify home, but also impermanence. "I'd like people to recognize the need to move around,” he said, "but I also want them to look at it and feel really good about something, about the world, about themselves.”

Spray Paint

Spray paint is a tool Bobby Wilson uses in his art. Do you remember the tipi in the museum? Bobby painted the outside of it with spray paint.

He learned this style of art in Minneapolis, where he grew up. Bobby paints murals to express his culture. "A lot of my spray paint work became heavily cultural," he has said. He points out that his art style works well on tipis.

To Bobby, tipis signify home, but also impermanence. "I'd like people to recognize the need to move around,” he said, "but I also want them to look at it and feel really good about something, about the world, about themselves.”

Tataŋka (Bison)

Do you know what kind of steak this is? It is Tataŋka (say Tuh - TAN - kah) meat. Another word for this animal is bison.

Hundreds of years ago, bison helped Dakota people survive. Bison meat is still a valuable part of Dakota culture today.

Dakota people honor bison for the gifts they give. These include tipis, clothing, and food.

Tataŋka (Bison)

Do you know what kind of steak this is? It is Tataŋka (say Tuh - TAN - kah) meat. Another word for this animal is bison.

Hundreds of years ago, bison helped Dakota people survive. Bison meat is still a valuable part of Dakota culture today.

Dakota people honor bison for the gifts they give. These include tipis, clothing, and food.

Thíņpsiņna (Turnips)

Do you remember the vegetable you added to Sasha's meal during Play the Past? In Dakota it is called thíņpsiņna.

This food grows in the ground. It is a kind of turnip eaten by Dakota people long ago and also today. Thíņpsiņna are peeled, sliced, dried, and then cooked.

Men, women, and children dig them up. In the past, people used sticks to dig up these vegetables. Today, shovels are used sometimes.

Thíņpsiņna (Turnips)

Do you remember the vegetable you added to Sasha's meal during Play the Past? In Dakota it is called thíņpsiņna.

This food grows in the ground. It is a kind of turnip eaten by Dakota people long ago and also today. Thíņpsiņna are peeled, sliced, dried, and then cooked.

Men, women, and children dig them up. In the past, people used sticks to dig up these vegetables. Today, shovels are used sometimes.

Vanessa

Meet Vanessa Goodthunder. During college she learned to speak Dakota. Now she teaches it to others.

"Dakota is a dying language," she has said. Keeping it alive is one of her life goals. Improving life for Native youth is another. She works with people across the country to do this.

Vanessa helps solve problems in her community, like health and transportation. She wants to stay close her her reservation, so she can make a difference.

Vanessa

Meet Vanessa Goodthunder. During college she learned to speak Dakota. Now she teaches it to others.

"Dakota is a dying language," she has said. Keeping it alive is one of her life goals. Improving life for Native youth is another. She works with people across the country to do this.

Vanessa helps solve problems in her community, like health and transportation. She wants to stay close her her reservation, so she can make a difference.