The task of "setting up camp" rested on the shoulders of the Amerindian women, while their husbands hunted or scouted the surroundings. Two women could assemble a teepee in one hour. Depending on the tribe, three or four long wooden poles were pointed together and fastened at the top. The 25-foot poles were then anchored to the ground with ropes and weighted with a large stone. Additional pegs were added as reinforcement, while a tent cover of caribou or moose skins was drawn around the frame. Eight to twenty skins were needed to blanket teepees ranging up to 16 feet high and 16 feet in diameter. A central fireplace over which a smokehole was formed provided both heat and light. With the help of poles, the loose skins placed at the apex of the teepee could be moved around according to the wind's direction so the smoke could rise and exit from the smokehole. The teepee's entrance wav was also covered with skins. If the skin was raised, visitors were permitted to enter. If down, you had to wait until invited in.
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