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Vintage Sioux Photographs

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Sioux Teepees in North Dakota, 1902

 

Sioux teepees, 1902

Sioux teepees in North Dakota, 1902, photo by Frank Bennett Fiske

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A nomadic people, the Sioux generally moved camp about every 2-3 months. Making the job of moving easier were their animal hide teepees. Making these "homes" was the job of women who scraped, softened and stretched some 18-20 buffalo hides before carefully cutting and sewing them together. A framework of 3-4 poles tied to each other supported the teepees, arranged close together at the top with a small hole in the middle, and arranged in a big circle at the bottom. The hides were then wrapped around the pole framework. The opening at the top could be opened to let out the smoke, or closed to keep in the warmth. Another flap at the bottem served as an entrance to the inside.


When the nomadic Sioux moved, the women could take down or put up their homes in about 15 minutes. The hides were then packed into a bundle and the long poles strapped to dogs or horses to move to the next place.

 

 

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