Chehaw promotes the Native American Cultural Festival with teepees

Chehaw promotes the Native American Cultural Festival with teepees
Source: (WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - You may notice in the coming days a number of teepees set up around Albany and Dougherty County.

The man setting them up is Chehaw's Natural Resources Manager Ben Kirkland.

Chehaw will be hosting the Native American Cultural Festival starting April 13, and Kirkland has set up 12 teepees around Albany to publicize the event.

Kirkland is quick to point out these are publicity teepees and not a real shelter a Native American would have lived in during frontier times.
He uses mostly products native to South Georgia to set them up.

He set up 11 8-foot bamboo poles and lashes them together. He uses bamboo because it's light. Kirkland said real poles would have been made of cypress.

He uses a tent for the covering. Kirkland pointed out that a real shelter would have had an inside liner as well as the outer cover, along with a ground cover.

He anchors the cover with sticks through holes. The entrance opening is faced opposite to the prevailing winds.

Then, Kirkland uses a wooden club to drive in stakes to hold down the teepee.

It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, because Kirkland has made so many.

"I built my first one in 1990. Been setting them up since about 1985," said Kirkland.

Since 2004 Chehaw has hosted the Native American Cultural Festival. It will be April 13 - 15.  You can see real teepees set up there, and other real examples of Native American life.

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