Teepees

Teepees, sometimes known as tipis, are large triangle-shaped tents made by the Native Americans that served as their homes, schools, and other forms of shelter. Various tribes (most in the Great Plains region) used teepees for their homes, and most of them were made with animal skins, wood, and mud. An important reason many tribes used teepees was that they were easy to build, and easy to take down. This was especially helpful for nomadic tribes. For tribes who lived in colder climates, an extra interior lining was added to the teepee.

Most teepees' outer coverings were made of various animals hides. The hides were ideal because they are waterproof, tough, and versatile. More modern teepees are made of canvas. The center of the teepee was typically held up with wooden poles or stakes, and sinew or rope used to tie everything together. Most tribes' teepees were typically the same; however some tribes would paint their symbols on it to identify the teepee. The teepee's conical shape made it wind resistant, so it remained a warm place to sleep and live.

The construction of a teepee usually begins by tying three wooden or bamboo poles together at the top. The poles are then spread apart and stood upright to form a frame for the teepee. Long poles are then added to the three base poles for extra support. The hide has a hole cut out of the top for the poles to come out of, and it is draped over the frame. The top could be covered with extra hide on rainy days to prevent leaking. There is a hole cut out of the front of the hide for a door, and then the entire thing is strapped to the ground to make a secure home for the tribes and their families.





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