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Every year we put up teepees at our home
and for many years set a camp where people from all over the
Setting the teepees was always a very special event in our
lives. As we erected them the elders would pray and tell us
the meaning of the teepee.
Prayers were said for love, health, unity, humility, joy,
power, grandfathers, grandmothers and for good things for
all who entered the
The top is called the nest and there is great pride in
getting it perfectly circular. When we tie the poles
together we remembered the old knowledge of strength and
unity. The rope holds the poles together as the family is
The covering represents a woman’s skirt. She is the keeper
of the family. The pins that holds the canvas together are
called breast pins and represent the heart of the teepee.
The pegs that holds the teepee to the ground represent the
spirits that protect the people who enter.
The flaps are the sun and the moon.
So all who enter, are under the care of the woman. They sit
under the sun and the moon and are in the presence of the
heart of shelter. Prayers of thanks are always said by all
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