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CHOOSING THE RIGHT TIPI - Choosing the Right Style
[Choosing the Right Style]   [Choosing the Right Size]   [Choosing the Right Fabric]

The style (shape and appearance) of the ideal tipi for you is a matter of personal taste. There are four basic styles to choose from.

Sioux Tipi with Cheyenne smoke flap extensions
Sioux Style Tipis with Cheyenne extensions

1.  Sioux/Cheyenne. The lodges of these two tribes are almost identical and are considered by some to be of the same style. They both utilize a three pole tripod type of basic support structure for the poles and are similar in appearance.

The major difference is that the Cheyenne has a narrower smoke flap with a 6 to 8 inch extension on the bottom. The Sioux smoke flap is wider and ends where the lacing-pin strip begins (no flap). However, because these tribes were frequently allies and were interrelated, a composite style evolved. The composite style uses the wider (Sioux) smoke flap with the addition of the Cheyenne extension. This design became popular among the Sioux and the Cheyenne and is probably the most popular style among tipi purchasers today.

2.  Crow. The Crow style is tall and stately in appearance. Many tipi owners prefer this style. However, it is more difficult to make (and thus more expensive to buy) and is harder to put up because it uses a four (4) pole basic support structure for the poles. Four pole structures are sometimes guy-lined from the upper poles to the ground outside to provide additional stability.

3.  Blackfoot. This style is shorter than the Crow and the Sioux and has a somewhat squat appearance by comparison. It also uses a four (4) pole basic support structure for the poles.

4.  Brand X. A number of tipis are being made and sold without regard to authenticity. They frequently look like an upside down ice cream cone. They lack the longer slope in front and sometimes appear to be leaning forward. The fire, if placed under the smoke flap opening, has a tendency to crowd the door and doesn't seem to work as efficiently. The "inverted cone" loses the "tipi look" and is usually avoided by those who are interested in authenticity.

We prefer the Sioux design with the Cheyenne smoke flap extensions and recommend this style to our friends.

[Choosing the Right Style] [Choosing the Right Size] [Choosing the Right Fabric]

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