WHAT ARE SMOKE FLAPS?
They are like two ears listening to the sky or like the arms of a mother protecting her child.
In the Cree Indians, a woman is seen in the tepee. The smoke flaps represent the arms that she extends to the sky or closes protectively, the shell is her dress. Source: Nonam
SMOKE DAMPER RODS
The smoke damper bars are used to bring the smoke dampers in the correct position. For this you use stable but rather light tipi rods. Depending on that, they have to be cut slightly. Finally, they should easily cross or hit each other at a full opening (as in the picture above). Anyone who tilts the tips of the poles a bit round prevents the pole tips from scrubbing through the tabs over time. The threading in the tabs can be a test of patience for an untrained tipi owner but with a little practice, it usually works. If a rope is pulled into the flap, this can help with strong winds to thread the poles easier.
The smoke flaps must never be stretched like sails. Ideally, the smoke flaps should move like flags in the wind. If they can not move, they offer more attack surface and the smoke flaps could be torn by the wind.
Who in the tepee a fire would like to light the smoke flaps should first align the wind. With the help of wind vanes, which are eg tied up at the pole tips, the wind direction is determined. The smoke damper opening should be chosen so that it can literally pull the smoke out of the tepee with the wind. Here are a few examples of the orientation of the smoke flaps.
At a heavy rain or snow, the tepee can be completely closed, as shown in the picture on the left outside. In this state, the smoke will hardly escape and the fire should be throttled.
Often we are asked what to do with the smoke flaps when the teepee is not used. It is ideal if the tips touch above, then R is the leastegen and the tipi remains well ventilated.