POTD: The Hard Reality

The Hard Reality
Bozeman, Montana
2021

Whenever I see tipis in the summer it always seems like it would be fun to live in one for a while. We had a friend who did just that for a summer outside of Bozeman, and except for a few things like the skunk that kept coming inside at night for a visit, she seemed to really enjoy it. Such things make one romanticize about the life of Native American tribes who lived in them full time. But I think actually spending a winter in a tipi in Montana would quickly disabuse me of any such romantic thoughts. The tipis in this photo were set up for a week just down the street from our house in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. While book-ended by lovely fall weather, that week happened to coincide with a cold snap accompanied by almost a foot of snow. The tent flaps were frozen stiff, as I would have been–even with a fire I think– if I’d camped in one.

2 thoughts on “POTD: The Hard Reality”

  1. I love this picture! So evocative of harsh weather. I think the Native Americans would have closed the smoke flaps at the top, leaving only the very top of the tipi for smoke to escape. And despite buffalo robes, it would have been a cold, hungry time.

    1. Thanks Kathy. Those teepees were set up (and taken down) in warm, sunny fall weather, otherwise those smoke flaps might have been closed. I’ve also read about how Indians put a liner on the inside of the teepee and stuffed the space between it and the outside cover with grass as insulation. Even with that I think I still would not enjoy a cold winter’s night in one.

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