Southwest Studies class builds wickiup

Justin Palmer and his fourth grade Southwest Studies Class at Sierra Oaks stand in front of their wickiup. John Hernandez | Miner

Justin Palmer and his fourth grade Southwest Studies Class at Sierra Oaks inside their wickiup. John Hernandez | Miner

San Manuel Miner

Justin Palmer’s fourth grade Southwest Studies Class at Sierra Oaks School in Oracle recently built a wickiup as part of a classroom lesson. A wickiup is a crude shelter made from brushwood, mats, and grass having an oval frame. It was used by nomadic North American Indian tribes. In Arizona it is associated with the Apaches.

Teacher Justin Palmer thought it would be a good idea for the kids to experience what it was like and the difficulty of building one’s own shelter. The students studied a video on You Tube to get an idea of how to build one. The wickiup took eight classroom days to build working on it for an hour each class. Palmer said the only modern tool they used to build it was a bow saw. The Southwest Studies class has been learning about the Native American tribes in Arizona.

John Hernandez (100 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.

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