Teepee Structure Project
By: Sam Harshman
Last week I had to build a model of a structure for my history class. I decided to make a model of a teepee. Why a teepee? I respect Native Americans for the way they lived. They did not need a company telling them they need to build "sustainable" homes, they just did because they realized that was how humans were supposed to live to protect this earth. Everything they did was "sustainable." They used every piece of anything they killed or cut down or grew. This is why I chose to make a teepee. The teepee is made up of simple materials such as wooden poles for the actual structure and animal skins for the exterior. It was a very portable home because the Native Americans were nomadic, following herds of buffalo for means of food.
The construction of a teepee started with tying three poles together near the top and then using those to create something like a tripod. After that is complete, a dozen more poles were rested on the "tripod," to create a cone like structure. Next, the skin of the teepee is put on. One end is tied to a pole and then it is stretched around the other poles. The end flap is then closed with wooden lacing pins, lacing it to the overlapped part of the skin. Sometimes the flap was used to make a door, other times an opening was cut out and another piece of skin or a cloth was used to cover it. Around the base of the teepee, wooden pegs were used to hold the skin down. On the inside of the structure, a cord was usually tied around the poles just above head height so that an inner lining could be hung. this would help with heat insulation, drafts, and pests.
The following are just a couple of pictures of my final structure project. I tried to make it as natural as possible. The poles are actual sticks from my yard. I had to whittle them down so to clear off the bark. I used some rawhide that I purchased to tie the sticks together. The skin is some canvas that I purchased. I wanted to make the canvas seem more natural so I dirtied it up with some dry dirt. After that, I used some darker moist soil to "paint" the base of the canvas and then I used some grass to "paint" the green on the canvas.