Native American Tipis - Homes - Shelters - Books & Videos

A tipi (also spelled tepee and teepee) is a Lakota word for "dwelling" for a conical tent traditionally made of animal skins and wooden poles used by the nomadic tribes and sedentary tribal dwellers (when hunting) of the Great Plains.

The tipi was durable, provided warmth and comfort in winter, was dry during heavy rains, and was cool in the heat of summer. Tipis could be disassembled and packed away quickly when a tribe decided to move and could be reconstructed quickly when settling at a new location. The portability of the tip was essential Plains Indians with their nomadic lifestyle.

The conical shape of the tipi sheds wind from all sides and the narrow top allows for least resistance at the point where the wind is strongest. Rain and snow is shed easily. Tipis were originally made from animal skins (buffalo being preferred but elk was also used in mountain regions where bison were scarce). A switch to bison to canvas came in the mid to late 1800s as bolts of military canvas became a standard trade item. Canvas also provided several practical benefits as it is lighter in weight, lets in more light in and was much easier to construct than hide tipis.

Crazy Crow Trading Post offers canvas Cheyenne style Native American tipis and accessories.