Tall conical tent dwelling used by the Plains Indians of North America. It was suited to nomadic buffalo hunting because it could be easily dismantled and transported. It was made by stretching a sewn cover of buffalo skins over a skeleton of 20–30 wooden poles, all slanted in toward a central point and tied together near the top. A flap at the top allowed smoke to escape, and a flap at the bottom served as a doorway. The tepee became a popular symbol of all American Indians, although the wickiup, hogan, igloo, longhouse, earth lodge, and pueblo were at least as important.