Published on May 25, 2013 by Amy
Native Americans lived in a wide variety of homes. Different tribes and peoples built different types of homes. What kinds of homes they lived in depended on the materials that they had available where they lived. It also depended on the kind of lifestyle that they lived as well as the environment.
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Some tribes were nomads. This meant that the entire village would travel from place to place. This was common for tribes living in the Great Plains where they hunted buffalo for food. The tribe would follow the large buffalo herds as they roamed the plains. These tribes built homes that were easy to move and build. They were called Teepees.
Other tribes lived in one place for a long time. This was because they had water and food nearby. These tribes built more permanent homes like the pueblo or longhouse.
Wigwams were homes built by the Algonquian tribes of American Indians living in the Northeast. They were built from trees and bark similar to the longhouse, but were much smaller and easier to construct.
Wigwams used poles from trees that would be bent and tied together to make a dome shaped home. The outside of the home would be covered with bark or other material that was available where the natives lived. The frames were not portable, like the teepee, but sometimes the coverings could be moved when the tribe moved.
Wigwams were relatively small homes that formed a circle around 15 feet wide. However, these homes still sometimes housed more than just one Native American family. It was a pretty tight squeeze, but probably helped keep them warm in the winter.
A home similar to the wigwam was the wikiup which was built by some tribes in the west.
The hogan was the home built by the Navajo people of the Southwest. They used wooden poles for the frame and then covered it in adobe, clay mixed with grass. It was generally built in a dome shape with the door facing the east toward the sunrise. There was also a hole in the roof for the smoke of the fire to escape.