Art as the road to perfection: The blackfoot painted tipi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Blackfoot bison hunters of the North American Plains are widely known for their artfully painted lodges commonly known as 'tipis'. Traditionally, tipi designs were not for everyone; rather, they were received individually from the spirit world or ceremonially transferred from one person to another under strict covenants. Painted tipis advertised the spiritual and social stature of their owners and were intricately woven in the ontological fabric of the group. This article explores the role of the painted tipi in individual and social life among the Blackfoot to highlight how art can be used to construct social places, to accumulate material and ritual wealth and, ultimately, to make society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-642
Number of pages12
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Archaeology


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