The tipi was a place to be respected and a strict system of behavior governed its use.

  •  An open tipi flap was an invitation to enter. If the flap was closed, however, the visitor was to announce his presence and wait for the host to invite him inside.
  • Upon entering the tipi a visitor would always go to the right. If invited to do so by the host, he would sit in the guest position to the left of the head of the family, who would sit at the rear.
  • It was a no-no to walk between the fire and another person. Rather, it was expected that you would go behind anyone sitting by the fire, who would lean forward to allow you to pass.
  • Women would never sit cross-legged like men. They would instead sit on their heels or with their legs to one side.
  • When sitting with other men, a younger man would wait for his elders to initiate the conversation. He would, in fact, not speak unless he was invited to do so by his elders.
  • The cleaning of his pipe by the host was the sign for everybody else to exit the tipi.