Re: about WIGWAM and TEEPEE

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Posted by Edwin M. Kiser on June 16, 1999 at 13:08:21 from

In Reply to: Re: Other AR Americanisms posted by Edwin M. Kiser on June 16, 1999 at 12:29:10:

Regarding the words: "WIGWAM" and "TEEPEE"...

Did a bit more research on these words; here is what I found:

TEEPEE is a variant spelling of TEPEE where either way is acceptable.

Titty in SA made the first reference when she saw the charcoal-burner's
hut. She called it a "Red Indian Wigwam". In addition to the
charcoal-burner's hut, the concept of a WIGWAM was also applied to the
description of how Susan arranged her sticks in the fireplace when setting
up to start a fire, that is, with a circle of sticks, standing on one end,
the ends up in the air meeting at a point producing a CONE shape.

This cone shape however is more like the "Tepee", not a "Wigwam".

The word, "TEPEE" is an American Indian word, coming from the Dakota Plains
Indians, from "ti"-"to dwell" + "pi"-"to use for". This is the shape
commonly seen in the "Western" American movie, at least in the "cowboys
and Indians" type of movie.

The WIGWAM is probably the wrong word; Ransome, I mean Titty, should have
used TEPEE instead, because the WIGWAM is NOT a cone shaped structure,
but dome shaped, perhaps suggesting the traditional concept of an igloo.
WIGWAM is also an American Indian word, from the Abnaki & Massachuset
word, "wikwam". This is used to denote the hut of the Indians of the Great
Lakes region and eastward having typically an arched framework of bent poles
overlaid with bark, rush mats, or hides.

So the sticks in Susan's fire, and the poles of the charcoal-burner's
hut, were arranged more like a TEPEE, but not at all like a WIGWAM,
no matter what Titty called it...

Edwin M. Kiser, Southern American, continuing to learn more about my
own language, thanks to the motivation provided by
Arthur Ransome.

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