Not all Woodland Indians built longhouses. Some
A wigwam was a round building with a round top. It was
made from tree logs, covered again with bark. Some were additionally
covered with mats or hide. Some were quite large - about 6 feet long.
There were huge rush mats in front of the fire, and brightly dyed mats
on the walls. The women made the wigwam as colorful as they could.
Extended families - kids, parents, and grandparents - all lived
together in one wigwam.
A wigwam is not a tipi. A tipi is totally
portable. It is made with long poles covered with hides. Some wigwams
were fixed shelters. Some were a mix of permanent and portable.
Ojibwa, for example, made their wigwams by covering a wood frame with
hide and then covering the hide with bark. When an Ojibwa family moved
to a new location, the hide was rolled up and taken with them. The
frame stayed. When they returned the following year, or several years
later, they simply unrolled the covering they always carried, and
placed it on the frame. If a frame was not available, they would make
a new one.
Today, Native Americans live in houses just like
yours and mine. But in olden times, many parts of the
country had its own distinctive style of home.