Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It’s Time for TeePees

I love it when the teepees are erected in the Taos area for the summer season. It lets us natives know that the “time of the visitors” is here.

Taosenos have “modern day” designed teepees. They can be made of different fabrics including 100% cotton and blends of polyester and cotton for hard weather areas. The owner can create their own artwork for the teepee or choose from many pre-made designs. Modern teepees have floors made of dirt, cement or flagstone, and they also have the option of adding a liner to protect the inside of the teepee from the harsh elements in Northern New Mexico.

A teepee can usually be set up in one day and it is amazing to watch. The set up consists of placing the teepee poles in a tripod design, putting a lift pole in with the teepee cover attached, and finally, bringing the teepee cover around the poles. The teepee liner is inserted inside and is usually tied in bows in intervals around the structure.

Because we are now living in the 21st century’s high tech world, some Taos teepees are wired for electricity in order to accommodate lighting, heating, and TVs... some even have their own satellite dishes!

Of course, there is a long history about the original teepees of the many Indian tribes and pueblo peoples of the Great Southwest, but I thought today I’d just write about the newer teepees owned by Taos residents that can be viewed from the highway coming into town and other surrounding areas. If you are vacationing in  Taos, look for the giant teepees on the Taos Drums grounds located five miles south of Taos Plaza on highway 68. ~Jean

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