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Cool Things - Child's Tipi

Child's tipi"Playing tipi" was as popular an Indian game as playing house is for children today.

Toy, or model, tipis were created for children by adult women. Children set up their tipis by copying the way adults set up their encampments. Toy tipi designs are similar to those found on larger ones, often depicting hunting and warfare scenes.

Painted on this tipi are several horses with riders. The rider on the right appears to be a White man, while the others are Native American men and women. This tipi may be of Lakota or Sioux manufacturer, but the figures seem to depict another tribe, possibly Crow.

Making tipis was women's work. They worked as a group to cut, fit, and sew together between 15 to 20 buffalo hides to make one full-sized lodge. Each ranged in size from 12-foot hunting shelters to family tipis 30 feet in diameter.

Both this child's tipi and a full-sized reproduction tipi in the Southern Cheyenne style are on display in the main gallery of the Kansas Museum of History.

Entry: Cool Things - Child's Tipi

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2003

Date Modified: December 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.