THE PAINTING & MEANING
The Indians knew how to use colors very sensitively and used the stylized motifs extremely effectively. Even so, there were only ever a few painted tents in the camp. The painting meant that the owner was particularly honored. They belonged to certain families or were used as ceremonial and medicine tents. The painting of the tipis also had a deeper spiritual meaning and was associated with various religious activities.
Even if the Indian artists dealt with the three-dimensional perspective, they deliberately suppressed it here. In their way of thinking, all the people and motifs depicted were of equal value and were painted behind or on top of one another. Nevertheless, it is amazing what dynamic and interesting works were created with the simple and limited possibilities.
The lower part of the tipi embodied the earth. The upper part represented the spiritual world. In the middle path, between heaven and earth, events such as valiant deeds, desires and desires or visions of the owner were portrayed.
We recommend using commercially available acrylic paints and a bristle brush to paint the fabric. The color is elastic and lasts for several years on the tipi fabric. It remains vividly colored and does not crumble. The brushes can then be washed out with water. In order to get a rich color result, we apply the color undiluted and work it well into the material. When completely dry, the paint is waterproof.
Each painted teepee was part of a complex religious ritual. While the owner was performing a certain ceremony, an artist used black paint to paint the outlines of the corresponding representations on the cloth. These were then colored in by the tent owner and other dignitaries. The entire ceremony ended with a cleansing steam bath in a sweat lodge.