The climate and temperature also played an important factor in the homes of the tribes and many of the people built different styles of dwellings and shelters to suit both the summer and winter months. The most famous and iconic American Indian Dwellings were undoubtedly the tepee and the wigwam. However, there were many other designs of dwellings which are all detailed in the fact sheet.
Native American Life - American Indian Dwellings
The life, history and lifestyle of Native American Indians is a varied and fascinating subject. The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on American Indian Dwellings. The names and types of dwellings included the Tepees, Wigwams, Wickiups, Cedar Bark Tepees, Wetus, Longhouses, Kiich Houses, Brush shelters, Lean-tos, Barabaras, Earth Lodges, Hogans, Igloos, Sod Houses, Cliff Houses, Mounds, Wattle and Daub Houses, Tule Mat Lodges, Grass houses, 'Beehive' Grass Houses, Chickee (Stilt Houses), Pit Houses, Plank Houses and Adobe Houses (Pueblos). For specific information about each type of these homes and dwellings refer to the section on Native American Houses.
American Indian Dwellings Fact Sheet for kids
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 1: The summer and winter homes built by the tribes were highly practical and built not only to provide shelter from the elements but also to accommodate the lifestyles of the tribes.
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 2: The summer months were traditionally spent hunting for food and the tribes needed temporary shelters that could be quickly built and dismantled
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 3: The winter homes and dwellings were more permanent structures, often built in large villages and designed to keep the people safe and warm
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 4: The permanent dwellings were also built by the agricultural tribes who farmed and raised crops such as corn, beans and squash. Such villages were built in locations that provided fresh water supplies and in close proximity to the fields
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 5: The villages of many types of permanent dwellings, notably the Longhouses were surrounded by stockades (fences) that provide protection against attacks by enemy tribes
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 6: The different styles and designs of dwellings were constructed using a variety of natural resources such as animal hides, birch bark, timber, reeds and rushes, tule mats made from (Southern Bulrush), Cattail or Giant Wild Rye, brush and wattle and daub.
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 7: The tribes of the Great Basin such as the Paiute, Washoe and Goshute lived in Dome-shaped brush shelters called Wickiups
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 8: The Southwest Indian Indian Tribes, like the Hopi and the Pueblo lived in mud brick houses known as Adobes.
- American Indian Dwellings Fact 9: The Navajo tribe lived in Hogans that were built using the timber from pinon trees and covered with earth or reeds