Building that uses masts or poles and tensile membrane (e.g., fabric or animal skin) enclosures. Tent structures are prestressed by externally applied forces so that they are held taut under anticipated load conditions. Tents have been the dwelling places of most of the world's nomadic peoples, from ancient times until the present. The traditional Bedouin tent consists of a rectangular membrane of strips of woven camel hair that is strained on webbing straps and secured with guys over a rectangle of poles. The American Plains Indians developed the conical tepee. The Central Asian nomadic pole dwelling, or yurt, uses skins and textiles as its covering. See also membrane structure, pole construction.
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