Bob Chenoweth, a museum curator, contacted us to see if he might acquire a Jackson Sundown Western shirt for some upcoming exhibits in Idaho. He also mentioned a tipi that had belonged to Mr. Sundown that he was hoping to include, as well.
The shirt in question was a special design we produced in 2009/2010 based on a shirt worn by Mr. Sundown in one of the more iconic shots in Pendleton’s archives. Mr. Chenoweth acquired his Jackson Sundown shirt, and we also sent him a copy of the photo that inspired it.
He replied as follows:
I thought you might like to know that after comparing contemporary photos of the tipi from when we set it up a few years ago to the photo you sent, it is the same tipi.
This particular tipi was made in about 1878 for Corbet Lawyer to use when he went to Oklahoma to advocate and help the 1877 war prisoners that were taken there after Chief Joseph surrendered at Bear Paw, Montana.
It was later passed on to Jackson Sundown until his death. Jackson shortened the base by about two feet. You can see it is tattered along the bottom edge.
It reverted to the Lawyer family and Archie set it up at the National Congress of American Indians in Lewiston in 1961. It came to Nez Perce National Historical Park in about 2003 as a loan from the Lawyer family.
We did set up the tipi some years ago here at the park. As you can see, we did not pull it too tight or stake it down, since it was pretty old
We are exhibiting a saddle used by Jackson Sundown at the Lapwai rodeo in 1914, along with a quirt that he owned, and the “replica” Jackson Sundown shirt Pendleton produced a couple years ago. This exhibit is currently at the Nez Perce NHP near Lapwai, Idaho, through the end of January. Then these items will go on the road.
Where to see it
You can see these items at the Nez Perce National Historical park near Lapwai, Idaho. After that, these items will be part of an exhibit featuring Jackson Sundown material as part of the Idaho Historical Museum’s Sesquicentennial exhibition. This upcoming exhibit will be at the Idaho State Historical Museum in Boise and is slated to open Spring, 2013.
Mr. Chenoweth had hoped to use the tipi in this exhibit, along with several other Sundown artifacts, but it appears that the gallery space does not have enough height to accommodate the tipi. That is simply too bad, but at least…you can see it here.