Native American Village
Now you might be wondering where I got my love for everything Native American. Well, it all began during my wanderlust years, when I travelled the globe in search of exotic crisp flavours to bring back to the Tayto factory.
The Native American’s have a great respect for nature and a real understanding of the earth and coming from the earth myself, we became kindred spuds! I also discovered that they invented Popcorn, so we even had a love of snacks in common! They welcomed me like one of their own, and to the Sioux tribe I am known as The Big Man Inside the Jacket.
I travelled all over the continent of the Americas and stayed with many different tribes, soaking up their traditions and culture. Over the years I’ve kept in touch with all of my tribal friends, often exchanging gifts. I’d regularly send over Tayto crisps and you should have seen the face on the postman when they began to send Totem Poles and Tipi’s back.
So what you see in Tayto Park today is a little flavour of the life and culture of our tribal friends from America; from the master craftsmanship of the Totem Poles, the ingenuity of the Tipi’s to the spirit of their native animals. And as Big Chief Running Water once said to me; ‘Don’t hang around the wrong end of a buffalo!’ Wise words indeed!
See what’s going on inside each one of the six giant Tipi’s and have your photo taken beside a colossal Totem Poles.
A tipi also spelt te(e)pee) is a conical tent dwelling used by the Native Americans of the Great Plains. They are traditionally made of animal skins or birch bark and in modern times made of canvas.
- The word Tipi means ‘to dwell’
- Tipis are designed to be easily set up to allow camps to be moved to follow game migrations, especially the bison.
- Tipis have two flaps at the top to allow a fire to be lit in the centre and the smoke exit through the open flaps.
- Tipi face East so as the door faces away from the prevailing winds helping to make it safer and allowing the smoke to rise up correctly through the smoke hole in the centre.
- Painted Tipis mainly feature tribal battles, personal experiences in hunting, celestial bodies and animal designs.
- When you enter a Tipi it is traditional for a visitor to always go to the right.
- It is considered rude to walk between the center fire and another person. You must walk behind anyone sitting by the fire and they would lean forward to allow you to pass.
Each of the Tipi’s in Tayto Park represents six different tribes and feature their tribal colours and decoration.
I was amazed the first time I saw a totem pole! These giant sculptures are carved out of one solid tree, usually Western Red Cedars. When I returned from my travels, I thought it would be great to have a giant one in Dublin; and then the Spire went up – you decide if that’s a coincidence! But I wanted to bring home some genuine totems to show you, so here they are. Totem poles can have lots of meanings, from telling great stories and legends to marking an important event.