Riders in the sky: Celebrating Native American heritage with kites

Terry Lee Zee, right, assembles a kite featuring a design by Cherokee artist D.G. House of Livingston, Mont., at the Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach Wednesday. She and her partner, Drake Smith, of SkyWindWorld of Billings, Mont., left, have traveled the world in the last five years promoting Native American art through kites. They celebrate the old tradition of the buffalo jump, which pre-dates the introduction of the horse. The fastest runner in the tribe was selected to wear a buffalo skin and lead a herd toward and over a cliff, where the meat, hooves and hides were harvested. Several hundred buffalo jump sites have been discovered in the Western states and Canada. The 14 kites will be flying at the festival on the right at the far west end of the Bolstad Avenue approach. The festival continues through the weekend.


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