I am writing this entry on behalf of my friend Ed Whiting of the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.Ed, also known as Walking Thunder, is a Dakota and craftsman of the traditional items of the Dakota people of the plains. I had the good fortune to meet and become acquainted with Ed and his lovely wife, Bea who is a Lakota Native American. Ed is a true Dakota that has great talent and great insight. Utilizing his skills passed down through his ancestors I was surprised a couple of Christmas's ago with an amazing handcrafted bow complete with quiver and arrows. He carefully crafted the bow from Osage Orange wood, while the arrows are made from cherry saplings, with bone points. The quiver is made of Buffalo hide and the sheath for the bow is made of tanned Elk hide. Ed makes a few items to sell occasionally by special order. This is a supplemental income for him as they, like most reservation people live in an area with little opportunities for employment.
|Ed and Bea Whiting with my daughter Allison on the right|
Here are a few examples of some of the traditional crafted items that are unique to the plains people. If you would be interested in having something made by Ed, I am sure he would be willing to work with you to produce the item for you. With that said, it could be awhile before Ed can do any work for you now. He has been in the hospital for many months trying to recover from a serious surgical mishap earlier. This has been both exhaustive and costly on him and Bea. They have endured a great hardship for that last few months.
Ed spends many of his summers on his farm providing camps for young people who wish to learn the ways and traditions of the Lakota and Dakota peoples. He has missed last year and this year is not shaping up to well either as Ed recovers from the many surgeries he has bravely undergone.
I know this; Walking Thunder is a wise and talent man that truly represents the best in all people. If you ever plan a trip to South Dakota and would like to visit Ed, let me know I will let him know you're coming and give you directions. In the meantime, take a look at these items and if you are interested why not get Ed to make you something truly amazing.