There’s a place in Rapid City, South Dakota, that’s unique and beautiful and downright fascinating. It’s called Prairie Edge and is part boutique, art gallery, bookstore and trading post. All this is all housed in a great old building from the 1800s with hardwood floors, lovely wood trim and embossed ceilings. Luckily, I was given permission to take photos.
Here’s another view of the exterior:
The bronze out in front is of a Native American woman and child. There are other bronzes on street corners, mostly past U.S. presidents.
According to the website, the owners established the Prairie Edge concept for two purposes: “The first is to educate the public about and to preserve the heritage and culture of the Northern Plains Indians. The second purpose is to provide Northern Plains Indian artists and craftspeople an outlet, at a fair price to them, for their finest work which reflects on their heritage and culture.”
I especially love Native American beadwork, and Prairie Edge has plenty of it. . . .
The whole place is put together like a beautifully curated museum.
The leather dresses are like works of art:
(They also cost between two and three thousand dollars.)
Some of the more unusual items are this shoeshine bench
and these papooses.
I zoomed in to show the beadwork, but there are skis attached to each papoose. You can see them in the tipi (teepee) photo. Incidentally, the word “tipi” comes from the Lakota tribe. A wigwam is not a teepee because it has a dome.
This is not a great photo (working with a point-and-shoot here) but I wanted to show the hardwood floors, embossed ceiling and layout of one of the rooms.
Note the handpainted animal hides on the walls.
Even the light fixture near the entrance follows the American Indian theme:
Finally, I went upstairs to the bookstore and art gallery where I found this incredible sculpture made from handmade paper. My iPhone couldn’t pick up all the detail, but you can get a pretty good idea. . . .
Thanks for coming along!
Thanks, Carole! We love visiting The Prairie Edge when we visit Rapid City. There are always so many new, beautiful things to see there … and I am always mesmerized by the paper sculptures.
Hey Randy, great to see you here! Hope your classes are going well. You could probably teach me a thing or ten. 🙂
“A wigwam is not a teepee because it has a dome.”
On the contrary, should a Native American man have a dome, he may want to consider wearing a wig to keep his dome warm (especially during those Rapid City winters) — from whence deriveth the indigenous word “wigwa(r)m”!
Great stuff here, Ms. Pearl.
Ha, good one!
Beautiful stuffs! I like Native American stuff!
Thanks, and welcome to the blog!
Dear Pearls and Prose: Hehanni Waste’ (Good Morning) – Thank you very much for your kind words and great article about our facility. Please come back soon!
Oh, you’re so welcome. Thank you for stopping by the blog!
This is a wonderful shop and so lovingly done. I enjoyed all the photos. It’s a fascinating culture. Beadwork is wonderful. I’m reading a book by Linda Hogan right now called Dwellings. She is a Chickasaw writer. Unfortunately she’s got the same name as some Wrestler’s wife.
The poor thing! I think I’d add an initial or something if I were her.
Is the book fiction or non-fiction, Caroline?
Non-fiction. Well, she was writing before that other Hogan woman wrote her memoir. Should I review you it, I hope nobody thinks I actually reviewed the memoir…
I would put a disclaimer at the very top of the review.
I really like looking at your photos and reading your “prose”. You have done a nice job with this!! 🙂 I have seen that paper sculpture at Prairie Edge and it is amazing!!! I love your photographs……Thanks for showing us things we might not get to see. Shelley
Oh Shelley, thank you. 🙂 I’m so glad to see you here too. Hope you are doing well.
I think I would love Prairie Edge. What a wonderful store with such unique items. Each one looks like a work of art.
They really do, Jacquelin. I felt like I was in a museum more than once.
I’m so glad places like that exist to honor the Native Americans (whose early treatment still galls me).
Me too. It’s a very sensitive subject in South Dakota.
Carole, your photos are so consistently beautiful and educational. After reviewing these, I really need to make a road trip to Rapid City and The Prairie Edge.
I think you’d like it, Cheryl.