Origins

The Indians and the tepee

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The Dakotic word tepee means to live inside. Teepee, Tepee, Teepee means in the language of the Sioux Indians used as an apartment / room to live in, a home.

TI = apartment or life
PI = inhabit, live

The tepee, which most people only know from the Native Americans, was also available in a more primitive form here in Europe during the Palaeolithic. This teepee-like fire tent became «Lacalled vvu ». But this was a much smaller, cone-shaped tent. The shell was made of thick skins and leather skins. The Tipis of the natives of North America became known to us only with the expeditions of the Spaniards, as they penetrated into the North American steppe.

The term tepee, is mistakenly used for other tents of nomadic peoples. However, the tipi has typical features that stand out clearly from these other, rather primitive and smoky dwellings. What many do not know is that the shape of a tepee is not symmetrical, but a tapered cone. On the less steep side of the teepee has smoke flaps, which serve as a flue of the fire. Often we also hear the name "Wigwam" for the Indian tents. This designation, however, applies to the tents of the eastern Indian tribes. The wigwam is a domed hut covered with grass and mats.

The first cloth tepees, as we know and use them today, first appear in America around 1800. Since the canvas is lighter than leather, the Indians began to sew tepees to a greater extent. They reached a diameter of 6-7m and even 9m. The Indians used to transport their tents with the help of dogs and simple sliding tow, a type of sledge. Later, they used for the transport horses that were first introduced by the Spaniards and were first hunted by the Indians and then used for load and riding. They facilitated the transport and it was possible to travel longer distances.

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Another major influence on the spread of today's tepees was the relocation of many tribes that originally inhabited the more northern and eastern areas of the Americas (the Cree, Blackfoot, Dakota, Arapah and other tribes). Beginning of 19. By the 19th century, most of the so-called prairie Indians had settled in the new hunting grounds, where they appreciated the advantages of the modern tepee, the simplicity of construction, and easy transportation.

Originally the tents were made of bison skins. After the eradication of these wild cattle the leather was replaced by canvas, whereby with only small deviations the same cut was used. The tipis were almost invariably aligned with the entrance to the east to the rising sun. The steeper back defy so the strong west winds, which prevailed on the open levels similar to ours. The sun is the donor of all life and it was therefore greatly appreciated by the Indians.

We distinguish between two basic types according to the number of rods. For example, the tribes of the Crow or Blackfoot used four poles. This teepee had a different cut than the three-rod tent, the Dakota Indians. The cut is easier and more practical and has become established in the modern teepees.

The size of the tepee adapted to the corresponding use. A child tipi had a diameter up to 2.5m even for their favorite dogs were built small tepees. The adults lived in tepees with a diameter of up to 5m. The typical family teepee had a size of about 5.5m. It was not until the fabric tent panels that tipi with a diameter of over 7m were built.
Source: Laubin

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