Doris and Rick Hamilton
Spirit in the Wind
Richard (Rick) Hamilton grew up on a
ranch in the Sandhills of North Central Nebraska. An early family hobby of
arrowhead hunting in the hills turned into a search for knowledge about the
points he found, who made them, how old were they, and how had they came to rest
in a particular area?
This interest has led to an unending quest to learn everything he could concerning the skills and technologies of the Plains Indians. Skills that include, flintknapping, pottery making, the making of bows and arrows, leather tanning, ethnobotany, and many others, some of which are sadly on the brink of extinction. His discovery of some unique plants and trees along the Keya Paha River in Nebraska, has drawn him into the interesting world of ethnobotany. Specifically the uses by the Sioux in that region. Richard, a former "Nebraska Photographer of the Year", and 1995 "Nebraskaland Magazine" wildlife photo contest winner, and a 20 year pro, embarked on a project in the summer of 1996, to video 100 plus plants and trees, that had specific uses to the Plains Indians in that region. The complete video set provides detailed identification as well as demonstrating many uses for the plants and trees.
Richard has hunted and taken game with his replica Sioux bow, called turkeys using a wingbone call, caught fish with a bone fish hook and cordage made from yucca leaves. He also makes and fires clay pottery as the Native Americans did, and produces fire using both a bow drill and also the hand drill. These are just a few of the many skills he has mastered in his effort to preserve and rediscover the Native American Skills of the past.
Richard, along with his wife Doris, give many workshops, exhibits, and demonstrations for schools, museums, organizations, youth groups, etc. in their effort to keep some of the Plain's Indians technology and culture alive today. His articles and photos have been published in various books and magazines.
"Spirit in the Wind " is Richard's Lakota name. It was given to him by a Medicine Woman of the Lakota tribe. Richard's first replica arrow was given in the name of friendship to the Lakota people.