American Indians, developed seven main styles of house,s: the Wickiup; the Wigwam; the Longhouse; the Tipi; the Hogan; the Dugout; and the Pueblo.The main form, a light weight, portable version is called a "wickiup" and the permanent, much more solidly built, version is called a "wigwam". Following are a few photos depicting these two styles from different Indian groups around the country. .
A Pima "Ki" Hogan
An Apache "Pi" Hogan
An Arikara Medicine lodge
Some American Indian homes were designed so they could be moved easily. The most common home was called a wigwam. It was a covered wooden frame shaped like a cone. The coverings were carried from location to location. Wigwams usually housed ten to twelve people.
When a new wigwam was needed, women often worked together to build it. This was an important task and one that took skill and knowledge.
The women cut five to ten long spruce poles. They found fir branches for the floor. Usually one woman oversaw everything. They took the spruce poles and tied them together at the top with lengths of spruce root. Then they stood the poles up and spread them apart at the bottom until they formed a cone shape. They bent a sapling into a hoop and tied it to the inside frame near the top. The hoop kept the poles from slipping.
They covered the framework of the wigwam with large sheets of birch bark.
The sheets were sewn to the frame using spruce root. Holes were punched through the bark using a bone awl. They kept the birch bark warm and wet so it did not tear, while it is being sewn.
This is a photo of me standing in front of a Pomo Indian wigwam near Little River in Northern California..It is hundreds of years old and as you can see it has withstood the test of the often very high winds of the Norhern California coast..This photo was taken on 18 July 2007 which was the anniversary of the day I was born..
This is a photo of the type tipi I once owned..I paid $900 for it including a liner,the poles and special water proof paint and the shipping charges..I sold it after using it four years for $1,900 minus the poles..The one I now own is only eight feet tall by twelve feet inside and is very easy for one person to set up..I prefer to live outside during spring through fall as much as possible. My children,grand children and my great grandson share my love for living outdoors in a tipi..