We built this wickiup
right behind the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio. The event
was the South Texas Archeology Association's Archeology Fair. October is
Archeology month in Texas.
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To start the wickiup
we went out and cut about 30 willow tree saplings -- nice long slender
ones. They have to be green and flexible. We trimmed all the little branches
off of them and saved the little branches for later.
Next I drove a stake
in the ground and used a string to make a circle. I marked where I wanted
the willow poles to go. Next came the hard work of making holes in the
ground to put the poles in. Man was the ground hard. I had to water the
ground to make it softer.
Here are Jonathan and
Katie Garza helping put the poles in the ground.
Here are all the poles
stuck in their holes in the ground.
Next we bent the willow
poles over two at a time. One from each side of the circle.
Once they were bend into place we tied
them with string. In the past strips of animal skin or sinew would have
been used for this.
Once all the poles were bent over we
added rings of smaller willow poles around the sides and top. Here we are
tying the side poles on.
Here is the finished framework.
Next we hang stuff to
make shade and shed water on the outside and top. You can use almost anything.
We used the small willow branches on part of it. You can use a blanket,
or use an animal skin or woven grass mat just like the blanket is used
Here are the willow
branches we saved hanging on part of the side.
Here we used palm fronds.
And that is how we built
Here is a real version
of a wickiup. This is a sweat lodge. A sweat lodge is built to do religious
ceremonies in. It is too small to live in. This one has old blankets thrown
over it. You can see the willow saplings on each side of the door. The
Indians here are from way up north, probably Dakota.
Copyright 1999, 2012 by Rolf E. Moore
and Texarch Associates, all rights reserved. Graphics may not be used or
reproduced without prior permission. Short parts of text may be quoted
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Since 2-1-2005 - 2012