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Elk Lodge (1900) - Blackfoot
© Paul Goble
Tipi - Elk Lodge (1900) - Blackfoot
Blackfoot Elk Lodge (1900), drawn by Paul Goble

"The Blackfoot prefer to use the word “lodge” because “tipi” is a Lakota word. “Blackfoot” is here used to include the three peoples, Piegan, Blood, and Blackfoot.

In this design it can be seen that the bull elk is painted on the south side, the cow elk on the north. The tradition for painting male animals on the south sides of tipis and females on the north seems to have been universal, but the reason is not understood. Men sit on the north sides of lodges, close to the female animals; women sit and cook on the south side, close to the male animals.

There were several Elk Lodges in the Blackfoot villages, each with a different story of its gift.

Long ago, Lone Chief left home to fast and pray for four days and nights beside a far-away lake. He dreamed that a boy came to him. “My father wants you to come,” the boy told him. Lone Chief said he would come sometime. “No! You must come now,” the boy told him. “My father is waiting.”
The boy led Lone Chief down to the shore of the lake. “Close your eyes!” he told Lone Chief, and when he told him to open his eyes again, he was standing inside an elk painted lodge. The owner invited him to sit beside him. “I have heard you praying, Lone Chief,” the man said, “and I feel sorry for your suffering. I give you my lodge. If you look after it, and faithfully carry out the ceremonies, which I will teach you, and never kill my elk children, then your prayers will be answered.” "

This image appears in Tipi: Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters

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