Native American Heritage Month

Bolo TieNovember was designated as Native American Heritage Month by President George H. W. Bush in 1990 and his proclamation has been repeated by each president since that time.

In celebrating the month this year, I wanted to share this image of a bolo tie which was handcrafted for me about 1980 by a friend, a Lakota Sioux Indian lady who was a granddaughter of the great Chief Sitting Bull.

She designed and created the tie in a traditional Sioux beaded pattern. The beads are on a natural buckskin backing and she handcrafted the entire tie (except for the metal tips on the woven leather neckpiece).

It is a prized possession especially because I was born and raised in Nebraska where the Sioux and other plains tribes lived and hunted for centuries before their land was invaded by Europeans and others. Our contact with members of the tribe was frequent, primarily because the treaty between the Sioux and the government grants them hunting, fishing, and gathering rights on land they had ceded in the treaty.

The first contact I remember occurred in 1931 when I was celebrating my third birthday during the Custer County Nebraska Fair. At an Indian encampment there, I was entertained by a Sioux chief,, John Search the Enemy. Details of that are posted here.

In any event, throughout my life I have been directly and indirectly associated with the Land of the Sioux. This bolo tie brings back great memories of that long-standing relationship and of my friend, the Lakota Sioux lady who created it for me.