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Native Americans

Homes and Dwellings


History >> Native Americans for Kids

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.

Teepee
The Teepee was easy to pack up and move


Lifestyle

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.

Click here for more details on three main types of homes: the Teepee, Longhouse, and Pueblo.

Wigwam Home

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.

Native American Hogan

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.

American Indian Hogan Home
A Navajo Hogan Home


Other Native American Homes Fun Facts about Native American Homes

Take a ten question quiz at the Native American Homes questions page.

For more Native American history:

Culture and Overview
Timeline of Native American History
Agriculture and Food
Native American Art
American Indian homes and Dwellings
Homes: The Teepee, Longhouse, and Pueblo
Native American Clothing
Entertainment
Religion
Mythology and Legends
Glossary and Terms

Tribes
Tribes and Regions
Apache Tribe
Cherokee Tribe
Chickasaw
Inuit
Iroquois Indians
Navajo Nation
Pueblo
Seminole
Sioux Nation

People
Famous Native Americans
Chief Joseph
Sacagawea
Sitting Bull
Maria Tallchief
Tecumseh
Jim Thorpe

Back to Native American history for Kids

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