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Ute wickiup - a little house made of sticks

Ute wickiup

Want to build your own wickiup? Try using a bunch of swimming noodles. Tie the ends of them together with string in pairs (two at a time), and then bend them into hoops and weigh down the ends with bricks or rocks or people standing on them. Work your way around in a circle. When you have the hoops standing up, take clothesline (the thin plastic kind is okay) and wrap it all the way around the wickiup about a foot up from the ground, tying it to each of the noodles with string. Leave a hole for the door!

Then run the clothesline around your wickiup again about two feet higher up, and again near the top. Now you are ready to cover your wickiup. You can cover it with anything you like. The easiest thing would probably be blankets or sheets. But you could also use sheets of paper, maybe with paintings on them. Just tape them to the poles. Or, if you have it available, use bunches of long grass stems, the way Ute people did.

Now that you have a wickiup, what will you use it for? Maybe you could go inside and sing songs or eat your lunch. Or use it as a shady place to keep things during your Native American activities.

A day in early North America:
North America Scavenger Hunt
Building a Wickiup Shelter
Making succotash
More fun projects

Further reading about Native Americans

More about North America home