Tipi Images 2013

Total Image is 80 inches x 80 inches and will be on the upper portion of the West side of the Tipi cover

Image painted on Tipi Door.  The colours are my colours for the four directions

Eagle is my First Helper; source of insight and wisdom.

Bison represents all of the wonderful gifts of Creator that support and give joy to our lives

Bear is my Medicine helper and represents all of the gifts of the West Wind

Wolf gives me courage and strength when I am weak and begin to falter on my journey.  Wolf teaches me how to  be a good member of my community and represents the  North Wind and this final quadrant of my life journey.


During the summer season of 2012 the Tipi cover I have been using since 2004 was showing real signs of wear, weather, and bear attacks.  The  cuts from bear claws  were becoming longer and harder to repair and likely were so because the canvas fibres were weakening.  I  decided it was time to replace the cover and made that investment over the winter of 2012 - 2013.  I ordered a tan canvas cover from Nomadics Tipi Makers.  I am also down-sizing from a 18 foot  Tipi to a more manageable 16 foot Tipi.  Before I will set it up once the warmer weather comes and the snow goes, I decided to paint  my Spirit Helper images onto the canvas.  I can not claim the inspiration for the graphic images used but I do appreciate the artistic talents of those who conceived and created the images.  I merely used, arranged and painted them onto my Tipi.

I will add additional images of the camp when Spring comes and I raise the Tipi. (Posted below)


The image of Eagle stands guard over the Camp site named after Eagle.  While this is just a representation, each time I approach it I think of Eagle, my Spirit Helper, and the gifts that Creator grants me through Eagle.

The smoke flaps are open, there is a warming fire going inside, but the door flap is closed to hold out the swarms of mosquitoes that inhabit the land this July 2013.  The red band that begins at the base of the  entrance side and runs up through the lacing pins, represents the journey on the Hoop, along the Red Road.  So even when the Waluta is not present and flying in the breeze, that red band represents a commitment to a way of living.

Approaching the door the image of Eagle's head  is painted there, not to be a threat or to be fierce, but to indicate that when we enter each day, each part of our life, we look to Creator's gifts through Eagle to help us find  the best path, the best way to come home.

This image shows the rain cap over the top of the poles.  That rain cap, while  looking rather awkward and unattractive, serves a wonderful purpose.  When it rains water is shed and does not run down the poles.  In the first few years I  followed the advice of the Tipi Makers and used twigs to lift the liner ropes along the inside of the poles so that rainwater would have a channel to the ground and would not drip into the tipi.  For the main that did work, but there was always some roughness or edge along the pole that would cause the water to pool and then drip onto the floor.  Then we started having really rainy summers, and  the unsightly rain cap made more and more sense.  Now I would not want to leave it up for a longer period without the rain cap.

The images that I painted on the cover during the winter months, and which seemed so large in the  house, now have a proper placement and have taken on the planned proportion.  From the inside the light  from the outside makes these images  seem to hover on the tipi.

The same with an angle more to the left to show Wolf.  This also shows the role of the smoke flap poles in adjusting the flaps so that smoke is  drawn out of the  tipi.  I have a small cast iron stove with a 4 foot long pipe and rain cap inside which really helps control the burn, directs the smoke to the opening, and is much safer than an open fire or even a fire with a screen cover as I used before.  The only disadvantage is that heating a billy of water for tea on the stove takes much longer than it took when hung over the open fire.

I have not spent nearly as much time out here as I would like.  It is  a wonderful place to go to think, to pray, to sleep, to listen to the wind or from which to listen to night animals.  I will not prepare food here to avoid lingering food odours that would attract bear to investigate and enter.  So far the resident bear for this season has not made an entrance or disturbed it in any way that I have been able to detect.  I might have my neighbours to the East to thank for that.  They are still feeding birds with birdseed on their deck, and bear has found that to be a more likely place to look for food.  Besides, bear is a smart animal, and when bear smells my presence he has correctly decided that stringy old meat is not a very desirable meal.