Indian Tepee

Indian Tepees were well built and mobile so tribes could move around.

Although many people construct Indian tepees in their backyards or on campgrounds for entertainment, tepees are commonly used by Native Americans as shelter. The history of Indian tepees is simple to grasp. Some Native American tribes that resided within the plains of North America were constantly migrating. Because of ongoing travels, the Native Americans needed a dwelling that was well built, yet mobile. This gave birth to the construction of Native American or Indian tepees.

Authentic Indian tepees are very different from modern tepees sold in retail stores. These tepees are made from cloth or plastic, and provide little protection during severe weather. Real tepees had to be strong in order to withstand the outdoor elements such as wind, rain, and heat. Moreover, the tepees had to be constructed in a way that allowed easy assembling and disassembling.

The size of Indian tepees varies. If migrating with a lot of family members, it only made sense for a particular Native American group to assemble a tepee large enough to accommodate many people. Of course, smaller tepees were also an option. Traditionally, Indian tepees were crafted by hand. To create a sturdy dwelling, craftsmen had to select strong wood and thick materials. Quality Indian tepees often used the skin of elk. Animal skin provided the best protection from weather, and these tepees were more durable than the ones made from thick cloth.

The design of an Indian tepee is very different from ordinary tents. For example, tepees require about ten to fifteen sturdy wood or metal poles. Although tepees are intended to protect those inside, it is necessary to include an opening at the top. This way, those inside could burn a fire. The middle opening is designed to emit fumes or smoke, and also allow fresh air to enter the tepee.

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