Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia
family: Pine (Pinaceae)
> hoóxe'e, "tipi pole" (Hart 1981: 6)
> šéstótó'e, "coniferous tree" (Tallbull 1993: 76)
Lodgepole pine is an evergreen tree, up to 30 m tall, with wide crown, frequently irregular; sometimes only shrub. Shoots are green-brown, smooth. Leaves are needle-like, 3–5 cm long, dark green, paired, often twisted. Cones are asymetric, 3–6 cm long, conic-ovoid. They often need high temperature, such as from forest fires, to open and release seeds. Lodgepole pine grows on sandy soils, rocks, even marshy places. It ranges in the Rocky Mountains from northwest Canada to southern Colorado; also in the Bighorn Mountains and the Black Hills.
Cheyennes make tipi poles from lodgepole pine trunks to this day (Moore 1996: 36; Hart 1981: 6). Formerly, they traveled to the mountains for the poles mostly. Women chose the most straight and slender trunks, cut poles, flayed them, smooth them, and left them dry in the sun. They worked on the pole base and made a point 40 cm long. The widest part of the tipi pole had 5 to 10 cm in diameter only. The poles are 4,5 to 9 m long in accordance with heigh of the tipi. Beside two tipi poles for smoke flaps, smaller tipi requires 12 poles only, 30 and more for the greatest one. Formerly, the Cheyenne were sorry for no effort in obtaining really good tipi poles. In early 1900s, the Southern Cheyenne traveled with wagons from Oklahoma as far as their Cheyenne relatives of Montana to cut right tipi poles there (Campbell 1915: 686; Tallbull 1993: 76).
> literature