Ciiporoke (pronounced “chee-poe-doe-kay” in Ho Chunk) means “round lodge/dwelling” in English. The current Ciiporoke at the KVR was built and designed in 2011 with help from the Ho-Chunk Nation, Nicholas Gale (KVR Instructor), and members of the public. Though traditional Ho- Chunk construction methods and materials were used in the project, the design varied some from traditional Ciiporoke structure in an attempt to have the KVR structure last for many years, and accommodate large numbers of students. Traditional Ho-Chunk peoples moved their communities around to follow patterns of seasonal wildlife and plants allowing resources to replenish themselves, and their lodges were built to accommodate seasonal moves.
The KVR Ciiporoke has been a very popular “outdoor classroom” for many years but now its age is showing and it’s time to rebuild. With financial support from the Friends of the KVR and help from the KVR field crew, Nicholas Gale and a team of volunteers began rebuilding the structure on March 31 – in time for the busy spring school group season. Check out the “new” Ciiporoke during Spring Fling or the next time you are at the Visitor Center.