Teepees are an important part of history for many Native American tribes. These dwellings provided excellent shelter for North American Indigenous tribes all across the Great Plains and in other areas. They were durable and easy to construct, making it easy for tribes to travel from place to place.
Teepees could also protect against all types of weather. They helped keep heat in during the winter and would stay cool during the warmer months. Teepees even featured fire flaps at the top, so people inside could keep a fire burning without smoke filling their space.
Despite popular belief, though, teepees were not utilized by all Native American tribes. In fact, only a few Native tribes used these structures. Read on to learn more about the history behind teepee dwellings and their use in modern-day Utah.
How were teepees made?
Most people know what a teepee looks like. It has an inverted cone-like shape, which made for efficient constructing and deconstructing of the structures. Teepees were made by tying together multiple poles that each rose to around 15 feet tall. These poles provided the base structure for the teepee and were easy to adjust. In fact, teepees often only took around half an hour to construct.
Teepees were always covered with some type of animal hide, usually buffalo. Since these structures were large, they often required hides from multiple animals. Buffalo hides were especially tough and great for insulation. Natives would also leave a hole in the top of the teepee and install smoke flaps to allow for good airflow.
Which tribes used teepees?
North American tribes known to utilize teepees included the Iowa, Otoe, Sioux, Pawnee and several more. These tribes would not only use teepee as a dwelling, but also for certain ceremonies.
Native tribes would make the insides of their teepees quite comfortable by laying down soft bedding. They would decorate the outside of the teepee with beautiful fabrics or paint.
Teepees are still used these days by certain Native tribes. Unlike the teepees of the past, however, modern ones are made with canvas instead of animal hides. Today, these structures are used for ceremonies and other gatherings. Many organizations also use teepees for educational purposes. You can even find authentic teepees at many museums across the United States.
Many campers and hunters have started using teepees as well. Some modern tents are made in the shape of teepees because they are easy to construct and move when necessary. These dwellings are also durable, making them the perfect shelter during camping and hunting trips.
Teepees served a great purpose to the Native tribes of North America, and it’s important to understand and acknowledge the historical significance of these structures. The teepee holds an especially strong place in the history of Utah.
If you’re a Utah resident interested in top-quality teepee poles, visit or contact Huberwoods today! We will give you plenty of information on the benefits of teepee poles and can even help you build your own.
Categorised in: Teepee Poles
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