Published on July 13, 2012 by Amy
Chickees were platform houses, made of logs. The bottom floor was about 3 feet off the ground for protection from flooding and animals. The roof was slanted.
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Certain times of the year, people hung canvas curtains (walls) to keep out the rain and cold weather. When walls were not needed, the Seminole rolled up their canvas curtains and hung them from the rafters to keep them safe and dry.
They hung many things from the rafters of their homes – cooking utensils, a baby swing, perhaps a wheel. You had to keep things off the wet ground if you wanted to keep them safe.
Sometimes, the women worked in the chickee during the day. The baby’s swing, which was securely fastened to the rafters of the chickee, had a piece of cloth tied to it that hung down. While working at something else, the women would tug the piece of hanging cloth to gently rock the baby.
Seminole families slept in their chickee at night. Their beds of hides or blankets were called “comfortables”. Comfortables were rolled up and hung from the rafters during the day. They had very little other furniture, perhaps a chair, a table, and a few colorful baskets.