Kohl on apakwas
Originally published in 1860.
While I was considering all this, the apakwas had arrived, and my house-skeleton was about to be clothed. This is the name given to the rolls of birch bark, which are generally kept in readiness to cover the wigwams or repair the roofs. These consist of a number of large quadrangular pieces of birch bark sewn together. Each piece is about a yard square, for a larger piece of good elastic bark, free from flaws and branch-holes, is rarely met with. six or seven such pieces are sewn firmly together with cedar bast, and then formed into rolls resembling the cloth in our tailors' shops. That these rolls may acquire greater stiffness, thin laths are sewn into each end of the strip, on which they can be comfortably rolled, while the end most exposed to contact is reinforced with a double piece of bark, and the roll tied round, so as to be easier of carriage. The women have always some of these rolls ready to hand, and hence I was enabled to purchase the nine or ten I required, or the bark of some sixty trees, from my neighbours. The women began covering the hut from the bottom, and bound a couple of long apakwas round it to the branches: the second row hung down over the first, so that the rain could run off it: a third and fourth row completed the whole, and a couple of apwakwas were thrown crossways over the hut, leaving a smoke-hole in the centre. A mat was hung over the space left as a doorway. In order that the wind might not disturb the apakwas, long cords of cedar bast were thrown across, with heavy stones fastened to the ends. In this way the semi-conical wigwam was completed, and received the due amount of firmness.
Johann Georg Kohl, Kitchi-Gami: Life Among the Lake Superior Ojibway (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1985), 9-10.