Friday, February 28, 2014

Native American Unit: Tipis and Walks in the Woods

This is what happens when you take a PTC to pick up some PVC for your Tipi:

And in this crazy, cold, snowy winter with Mama in a boot for my stupid foot, this was the first walk we took together in an eternity. Mrs.Thaw made an attempt at melting it all one day, but it is back down to 3 degrees again. Last week's warm weather bliss:

I have been in the throes of indecision concerning the tipi. Charles and I have researched the ways different peoples traveled and lived in tipis in times of yore in our block on Native Americans, and researched the ways different experts today recommend replicating one. I am not sure if he needs more authenticity or quicker results. Today will tell...there should be a tipi pic tomorrow. 

We searched high and low for poles this time. When we built a (very unsatisfactory) tipi for Valentine's third grade, we used bamboo poles that splintered while trying to drill holes and shortly afterward as well. Not fun. Not safe. 

Charles, Gael and I spent 2 interesting but grueling hours at the hardware store looking for poles. The only ones long enough were either poplar, at $12.95 a piece, or curtain rods, ranging from $17 to $59.95 per unit. We wanted 6 this time. Out of budget. Charles astutely suggested we give up and get PVC pipe. He knew it would not quite feel or look authentic, but he also knows, from multiple boffer-building sessions, that it is cheap, easy to saw and comes in 10-ft.lengths. 

For the "hide" we also spent hours exploring options. The craft store options were not the best (which was determined only after an hour of shopping with two young boys in a store full of...stuff), but the fabric store had just what we needed; fake leather and cheap. The craft store did, however, yield a whole section of "leather work" kits, and Gael went home with a neat moccasin kit that he badgered his siblings and I into making NOW, so he could feel like an Indian too. 

We shared a story and tea when we were all home and snug; a Hopi legend of the Warrior Maiden by Ellen Schecter.

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