Honor and Celebration wheel imageHonor and Celebration

Honor and Celebration

The Honor and Celebration gallery addresses the ceremonial aspects of Plains life, both past and present. Exploring the gallery, you learn about the Sacred Arts of women’s quilling and beadwork societies. Warriors, Leaders, and Healers explains how the men’s societies prepared their members for the various roles and challenges through their lives. Then glimpse into the most sacred Plains ceremony—the Sun Dance—a united prayer for the life of all things and peoples of this world.

A dance arbor lies in the center of the gallery where you can experience the Plains Indian Museum Powwow. While the dancers and drums perform, the visitor gets a better understanding of how music and dance are fundamental to Plains cultures.

The Plains Indian Museum's Honor and Celebration Gallery

The Plains Indian Museum’s Honor and Celebration Gallery

Choose a time of life to explore Honor and Celebration

Child

⊕ Youth

⊕ Adult

⊕ Elder

Child

Children learned their roles in life by watching, listening, and imitating adults. Girls played with miniature tipis and dolls. Boys made arrows and went on mock hunts. Many life lessons and tribal values were conveyed through storytelling.

Crow children on horseback, ca. 1903–1925. MS 95 William A. Petzoldt Lantern Slide Collection. LS.95.385

Crow children on horseback, ca. 1903–1925. MS 95 William A. Petzoldt Lantern Slide Collection. LS.95.385

Image:

Crow children on horseback, ca. 1903–1925. MS 95 William A. Petzoldt Lantern Slide Collection. LS.95.385

Hills of Life

Hills of Life

A man lived in a tent that stood alone. Something came toward him from the East. It was a young buffalo bull. The man went to head it off but it went around him. The fourth time he succeeded. Then the bull said, “I have come to give you the buffalo. I give you myself. I have come to tell you of the life you will have.” —Traditional Hinono’ei (Arapaho) story, 1903

Bison bull in snow, ca. 1970–1998. MS 301 Gabby Barrus Slide Collection. SL.301.08.326

Bison bull in snow, ca. 1970–1998. MS 301 Gabby Barrus Slide Collection. SL.301.08.326

For the Hinono’ei (Arapaho), and several other Plains groups, life was organized around ceremonial lodges, or societies, each with practical and ceremonial traditions. As they aged, men and women gained knowledge, skills, and honor through their membership in these lodges.

Lakota men in ceremonial regalia, ca. 1900–1910. MS 320 Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection. P.320.452

Lakota men in ceremonial regalia, ca. 1900–1910. MS 320 Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection. P.320.452

For the Hinono’ei (Arapaho), the four “hills of life”—childhood, youth, mature adulthood, and old age—correspond to the four sacred directions and four seasons. Each stage of life is a preparation for the next.

Cradle, ca. 1885. Hinono'ei (Arapaho). Gift of George T. Beck. NA.111.47

Cradle, ca. 1885. Hinono’ei (Arapaho). Gift of George T. Beck. NA.111.47

Images:

Bison bull in snow, ca. 1970–1998. MS 301 Gabby Barrus Slide Collection. SL.301.08.326

Lakota men in ceremonial regalia, ca. 1900–1910. MS 320 Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection. P.320.452

Cradle, ca. 1885. Hinono’ei (Arapaho). Gift of George T. Beck. NA.111.47