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Teepes - from history to our homes

 

 

A rising popular item in kids interior design today is the versatile teepee tent, also known as Wigwam, serving as indoor/outdoor playground, cosy reading corner, as well as a family get-together spot. They have great aesthetical value and provide a great sensorimotor skill development opportunity for your children, by stimulating their imagination and offering a sense of safe space and refuge.

What's fascinating about teepee tents is that they carry a great historical imprint which kids can tap into while playing inside them. Teepees are known to originate from the Native American culture, dating as far as 10.000 BCE. The term comes from the Lakota word "tipi" which stands for "they dwell". Therefore, the main purpose of a teepee tent was for family dwelling as well as a ceremonial one.

A great feature of these types of tents was that they could be take down and set up quickly, and they could easily be transported, which was very important for their nomadic lifestyle.

Indigenous people had a strong connection with the spiritual world, ancestors and the elements of nature, things that reside in the symbolism of the teepees, as well as the details painted on the outside of the walls. The circular shape of a teepee's floor symbolizes that everything is connected in this world. The floor represents the element of Earth, the walls are the sky, and the poles are the connection between the Earth and the Spirit world.

The more we look into their historical background, the more its permanence into our modern days becomes more obvious. By choosing to have a teepee tent in your home, it becomes firstly an anchor point for discussions about the Native American heritage, which will enrich kids imagination and knowledge about the world they are about to embark in.

Secondly, setting up a specific theme for the tent and decorating it accordingly will open up a whole new universe in your child's bedroom, which will further encourage their creative play and development.

Thirdly, it will offer variety to their playing space, either by using it for gathering with their friends, or, most importantly for you as a parent, to snuggle up in a blanket with a good book with them. That memory is sure to carry out in their adult life, and it will make them feel like you are stepping into their world, as a companion, things that will build a stronger foundation for the parent-child relationship.

What's great about the teepees is their nomadic feature, which means you can easily move the "cheering crowd" outdoor in the garden or simply in a different room.

I think we can all agree on the versatile nature of a teepee as a kids decorating item and the value it brings to our space. They carry their own story and they seem to effectively bridge two separate worlds together: the old and the new, the primitive and modern, the spiritual and material. They serve as reminders of our origins and the more we expose our children to these symbols, the more it will enrich their inner complexity as an adult.

 See our wigwam collection here.