The Fascinating Background of Teepees

January 28, 2022 4:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Teepees have a long and interesting history dating as far back as 10,000 B.C. These days, most people recognize teepees as the common dwelling of Great Plains Native Americans; however, many tribes across the Americas used teepees for warmth and shelter. They feature a strong structure and are easy to construct, which is why many people still use teepees for camping purposes.

Read on if you’re interested in learning more about the background of teepees.

The structure of a teepee

We’ve all seen a teepee at one point in our lives. These structures are usually triangular and feature three poles sticking from the top. Native Americans would construct these structures using three large poles made from sapling trees. They’d strip the saplings on their bark and then polish the poles to provide a stronger base. Once the poles dried, they’d make a tripod using three poles and tie the tops of them together.

In earlier days, Native Americans used animal hides to cover their teepees. They had to switch to canvas after the buffalo population dropped. Usually, it took close to 30 hides to complete an entire teepee.

Teepees featured an opening at the top, which worked like a chimney. To control airflow, these structures were equipped with smoke flaps near the top. Thanks to these features, Native Americans could keep a fire going inside their teepees.

Wondering how they kept rain and snow from falling through the top opening? While this didn’t always work, the slightly slanted design of many teepees allowed precipitation to flow along the sides of the teepee instead of falling inside.

Early beginnings

The history of teepees dates back thousands of years. The Lakota, Pawnee, Arapahoe, Kiowa, and Cheyenne tribes commonly used these structures for shelter. While known mainly for their use by Great Plains Native American tribes, archeologists found evidence that people may have built similar structures around 10,000 B.C.

Great Plains Native American tribes preferred teepees, as they were easy to construct and deconstruct. On average, it only took around half an hour to set up a teepee.

What was it like inside a teepee?

Was it comfortable inside of teepees? Great Plains tribes kept their teepees comfortable by adding bedding along the floors and decorating the inside walls. When the weather got cold, they would increase insulation inside the teepees by placing animal hides and blankets along the bottom of the walls.

Building your own teepee

As you can see, the background of teepees is vast and interesting. Now that you know about the history of teepees, you might be interested in building your own. The structure of a teepee has remained relatively unchanged since its beginnings. If you’re looking to build your own teepee, just be sure to invest in top-quality materials. Building a teepee requires strong wooden poles, a large sheet of canvas, rope and the perfect spot. There are many instructional videos online on building teepees. Find the right one, and you’ll have your own teepee in no time.

Visit Huberwoods for great prices on top-quality teepee poles.

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