Last Updated: 4 years A tipi is a frame work of poles covered with hides.
Tipis are cone shaped tents with a frame work of poles
covered with hides. A typical tipi had 13 to 20 long poles averaging
25 feet in length. There are three or four main poles which held the
weight of the others. The main poles were leaned against each other
after being placed in the ground. They were then tied together near
the top of the poles. The resulting circle created was about 15 feet
in diameter. All the poles were covered with as many as 30 buffalo
hides but the usual number was 14 to 20. The hides were sewed together
and pegged to the ground. At the top of the tipi a smoke hole with
adjustable flaps allowed smoke from the fire inside the tipi to escape.
A door, which always faced east was usually another buffalo hide covering
an opening made by the arrangement of the poles. There was no carpet
or fur covering used to cover the ground which was the floor of the
tipi. There were usually three or four beds that could fit inside a
tipi. To provide extra warmth in winter, buffalo skins were used as
blankets and a tipi lining was used to provide insulation.