IACA Journal summer 2013 - page 8

IACA Journal | Summer 2013
The Prairie Edge Story
Prairie Edge in Rapid City, South Dakota is considered today, by interested people
worldwide, as a premier vestige of contemporary Northern Plains Indian arts and crafts
that reflect their true heritage. It was not always so.
It all started in the early 1980s when a couple of Indiana transplants, Rita and Ray Hil-
lenbrand, moved to Rapid City to look after a cattle ranch they had close by. They had
a deep interest in the local Native American culture but, like most transplants, had little
knowledge of what that culture truly was. It was an up and down learning process and
resulted in Rita being adopted into Elizabeth Fast Horse’s family with Elizabeth’s son,
Charles, a medicine man, being part of Rita’s 1991 funeral along with the local Catholic
Prairie Edge’s first “for sale” item was a Buffalo Skull which
was offered for sale through a stand-alone Kiosk in the Denver
Airport. The Buffalo heads, in their green state, were acquired
from Regional Buffalo Ranchers and were cleaned by non-Native
Americans, myself included. They reflected how important the
Buffalo were to the survival of and Spiritual side of the Northern
Plains Indians, before the Europeans started to arrive.
By Dan Tribby » Prairie Edge General Manager
Rita and Ray then switched from cattle
to buffalo on their ranch and used many
parts of their buffalo in their Prairie
Edge work.
Next a mail order catalog was created
and they opened retail stores in Dead-
wood, SD and Santa Fe, NM. Today,
Prairie Edge is a 15,000 square foot retail
store in Rapid City, SD along with a web
site store. It is owned by Rita and Ray’s
daughter, Mimi, who also owns and op-
erates the Triple Seven Buffalo Ranch.
Prairie Edge sells the art and crafts of
Regional Native American artists whom
many consider the finest alive today.
Some of the artists and their art repre-
sented in our gallery are:
• Tim Audiss, Rosebud
beadwork, earth paints: shields, rattles,
fans, shirts, robes
Prairie Edge Trading Co. and Galleries in Rapid City, South Dakota
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,...20
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