The Way of Life is a visual representation of Pte Oyate the Buffalo Nation. For many Plains Tribes, the buffalo sustained all life. Every part of the animal was used the meat for food, and hides for robes, tepee covers and shields. Horns were crafted into bowls and arrow points. Fat was rendered for candles and soap. Swift horses, introduced by the Spanish in the 16th century, became essential to the buffalo hunt. For the Lakota, the buffalo story is held in their breath, their songs, stories and homes. In this unique design, the background represents a buffalo robe, keeping the body warm and the spirit strong. The tepee and blanket strips signify the four winds, the world above and below, as well as night and day. The Way of Life pattern is based on the art of Jim Yellowhawk, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Tribe. Mr. Yellowhawk lives and works in the beautiful He Sapa Black Hills of South Dakota.
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