Ancient Arts

Way back in 1917, a young unmarried girl from Kansas moved from her safe home in Kansas to the Rocky Mountains where she bought a cabin out of which she began to sell art. Largely Indian art. Quite a brave move for a single woman in those days. I would like to know a bit more about what made this young woman undertake such an adventure.

As the years passed, this came to that which came to the other, and ownership eventually fell to one Charles Eagle Plume, an American Indian, who expanded the store’s Indian art and brought it to what it is today.

Almost a hundred years later, Bec and I visited Eagle Plume’s, a purveyor of beautiful Native American arts, crafts, and jewelry located in Allenspark, Colorado. We had been told about the trading post the night before while sitting around a campfire with a group of others also staying at the Deer Crest Lodge in Estes Park.  Mention genuine Indian-made turquoise jewelry, and we are so there.

The fact of the matter is that we were looking for something a bit different to do with our time. We had been in and out of the various candy stores and souvenir shops purchasing taffy and candy apples and all manner of gifts. We were in the mood to do something a bit different, and visiting Eagle Plume’s seemed right up our alley.

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We were greeted at the door by exactly the woman you would expect to work in such a store in the mountains of Boulder County. She was friendly and enthusiastic and knew endless amounts about Indian artwork. The first thing she did was introduce us to a Lakota woman who was creating jewelry and teaching the art of quilling that weekend. The Lakota woman told us about the jewelry she makes out of porcupine quills. Her work was absolutely beautiful, well worth the steep price tag on the pieces, but beyond my pocketbook. We were, however, highly appreciative of the intricate nature of taking little beads made out of porcupine quills that she had dried and dyed, and turning into beautiful earrings and necklaces.

We moved on to peruse other genuine, but less expensive, earrings, necklaces, bolo ties, and other artwork. We also followed out nose to where we had been told fry bread had recently been made. There is nothing that can capture our attention quite like fried bread dipped in honey. Yum.

Bec Fry Bread Eagle Plum

We enjoyed our visit to Eagle Plume’s immensely, and as expected, each purchased some Native American jewelry. It seemed like the thing to do….

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Before leaving, we noticed the teepee located behind the store, and wondered if perhaps the friendly clerk (who, for all I know, might be the owner), lived in this tent in the woods. It seemed quite possible….

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It was Boulder County, after all.

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