Science Lecture: The Indian Tipi - Construction & Use

An example of a tipi design.
An example of a tipi design.

“The Indian Tipi: Construction and Use” will be the topic of tonight's Science Lecture at the Mohns Science Museum at Sheridan College. Presented by Sheridan resident and history buff Dennis Heizer, he will discuss the differences between tipi styles and the tribes that use them.

For example, some tribes, like the Cheyenne, use three poles in their tipi construction, while others, like the Crow, use four. Heizer tells us how the design of either tipi is quite a marvel, engineering-wise.

One might wonder: if you've got a campfire burning in the middle of your house, how does the “room” keep from filling with smoke? Heizer says critical to the design is what is called a dew liner made of thinned-out buffalo hide.

He adds that besides adding terrific ventilation, the dew liner initially served another important purpose as well.

Heizer will assemble his tipi at 7 pm (weather permitting) outside the Mohns Science Museum, and then all will go into the museum to hear his presentation. It is free and open to everyone. This is the last Science Lecture Series program for the 2010-2011 school year.

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