Wednesday, February 18, 2009


My subject today is going to be about making a tepee. I felt that any Indian woman worth her salt should be able to make a tepee. So, I bought an old book that gave the instructions on "How To" and found the instructions. Native People first made their tepees from buffalo skins. When the white man came, they traded for canvas and started making their tepees of canvas.

I have already shown my prototype. But I will show it again. I made it out of light weight muslin and was challenged on how to make it so it would fit under the ceiling at the Cultural Center and yet have it the correct size around. I decided to make a 12 foot tepee. This is a popular size Indian hunters made so they could easily carry them on hunting expeditions. However, the living lodges were from 18 to 34 feet.

Here is the muslin tepee that was erected in the entry of the AICC. We invited visitors to sign their names and where they were from on the tepee. We had about a 1000 signatures from all over the U.S. and many from other countries. This tepee now belongs to the Kwahadi Heritage Museum.

Here is my second tepee made. This was a program, Gathering of the Cultures, that we had at Wildcat Bluff, a beautiful spot just outside the city limits of Amarillo, Texas.

Several of us women decided to "toss our bras" and show how we could erect our tepee in 30 minutes, which is about the time Indian women of long ago could do. I had read that when erecting the tepee, to be able to lace the front covers together, was to temporarily tie a horizontal pole between the two front poles and stand on that to lace the two fronts together. Long ago, that was the children’s job.

Here is a picture of some of the men watching us erect the tepee:

Here is another tepee I made which I donated to the Kwahadi Heritage Museum.

My challenge now is to create an ACEO card for the 3 of Spades for a deck of cards. I have something in mind....and that I will save for another post.

You might be interested in seeing some of my quilt blocks for a quilt I entitled "It Takes a Village". Click on the picture to see these quilt blocks.


adrienne trafford said...

Char, you are wonderful!

DEB said...

What a beautiful quilt! And Char, I could live in that teepee! I could!

Fabric Fotos said...

Adrie, thank you for your comment. You are wonderful too! Deb, before you move into the tepee, I will furnish you a list of tepee etiquette - you know, we must follow Emily Post's rules! Char