Native American Homes

Native American tribes lived all over North America. Some of them lived in cooler climates, others in hotter regions.

Some of them hunted animals for their food and moved around often. Others stayed at one place and practiced agriculture to get their food.

So each tribe had a different lifestyle. They also had different types of homes depending upon their lifestyle. Following are some of the most popular types of Native American homes.

Teepees

Teepees were the type of houses used by many Native American tribes. They were particularly popular among the tribes who hunted bison and other animals during the hunting season.

Teepees are shaped like a cone and are built by covering a wooden frame with bison hide. The Native Indian tribes built teepees to be 12 to 24 feet high.

The great thing about the teepee was that it was easy to build it and equally easy to dismantle it. This made it easier for the tribes to move around with the bison herd.

Grass Houses

Grass houses were typically used by the Native American tribes who lived in the Southern Plains. The climate in this area was hot, so they had to build houses that would stay cool.

They created a wooden structure shaped like a beehive and then covered it with multiple layers of prairie grass. The grass was carefully used to cover the houses so that it stayed in place.

The grass houses were built to be quite large and some of them were as tall as 40 feet. The inside of these houses was cool and comfortable during the hot weather.

Longhouses

Longhouses were a type of home built by the Iroquois tribes. As the name suggests, these were fairly large houses almost shaped like a long hall-like structure.

They were typically twenty feet high and twenty feet wide. Their length varied and the longest ones could be as much as 200 feet long.

The Iroquois built such large houses so that entire clans could live inside them. In many long houses, more than 50 people lived at a time. Inside the longhouse, space was used creatively.

Raised platforms were built to create a second layer of space for storage, sleeping and other purposes.

Wigwams

Wigwams were the homes built by Algonquian tribes. The Algonquian tribes lived in the woodland, so they used the natural materials available in woodland to construct their houses.

Wigwams were built by first constructing a wooden frame. This frame was then covered with birchbark sheets and woven mats. Then wooden strips or ropes were used to kind of tie the sheets and mats in place.

Wigwams were also known as birchbark houses. They were usually used by the Native American tribes for living in winters.

Chickees

Chickees were the type of houses typically built by the Native Americans in the coastal regions of Florida. The area they lived in had a hot and humid climate.

So they built chickees by erecting wooden posts and using them to create a wooden platform several feet above the ground. Above, the chickees were covered by a thatched roof. These homes had no walls, so air could easily pass through.

 

Houses of Bark: Tipi, Wigwam, Longhouse (The native dwellings of North America) Hardcover – Illustrated, 30 Aug 1990

Wigwams, Longhouses and Dwellings (Dover History Coloring Book) Paperback – 28 May 2004