By Melissa Wynn

Many of us view the tipi as the traditional home of many Native American tribes, but I recently learned that this isn’t the case at all. As a matter of fact, the tipi wasn’t used as a permanent home until the natives were driven from their original home lands and forced to follow the buffalo herds in a new migratory lifestyle.

Buffalo hides were tanned and sewn together to make the cover, liner and floor. The poles were  cut on site or fashioned into a stretcher like carrier along with the hides, and dragged along, either by members of the tribe or more often by their dogs.

Today, the modern tipi is made of canvas, but since the design was so effective, little else has changed. Randy Nelson of  Westwood is our local tipi tailor and although his tipis are stitched together with a sewing machine the design is authentic to that of a chosen tribe. The example pictured is the design of the Cheyenne nation.

Being an avid outdoors man Randy originally planned to build one tipi that was big enough to go camping with our five adult children and their growing families. Before long, each of the children wanted one of their own and 2 Feathers Tipi was born.

Having a background in construction of decorative and industrial sheet metal  fostered Mr. Nelson’s interest in the art of authentic tipi construction. Today he custom makes these abodes of yesteryear to order, in the design of the tribe of your choice, with your own custom floor pattern. This Cheyenne tipi  floor showcases a beautiful landscape and buffalo silhouette.

” Tipis are the superior tent” says Randy. “Not only do they  give adequate space,  but the design allows for superior ventilation, which means cooler by day and warmer by night. The smoke flaps accommodate an indoor campfire for heating and the marine canvas fabric floor means cleaner indoor cooking. Besides, is a tipi at camp too cool or what?”

2 Feathers tipis are available for sale OR rent since many consumers would like a tipi for the day, weekend or summer but maybe not for life. Tipis are also a real eye catcher in photo ops, at parties, weddings and other special events. The uses are only limited by your own imagination.

Randy delivers, sets up and tears down all rented tipis and this service is included in the rental fee. Purchase of a custom tipi includes set up and tear down instruction. Pricing is based on size, detailing and packages are available with or without poles. For more information and price quotes contact the 2 Feathers Tipi by phone at 530-816-0635 or visit their website


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