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Traditional house form utilized by Woodland Indians of the Great Lakes Region. Meskwaki settlement near Tama, Iowa. 1905. Meskwaki is the current spelling, preferred over Mesquakie. They were Fox as opposed to Sac, allied groups that were made one tribe by U.S. treaties. The lodge, or wigwam, was ubiquitous, used by many tribes. It was constructed of a series of cut saplings. The large ends were sharpened and stuck in the ground in a circular or oval pattern. The tops of the saplings were bent towards each other and laced together in a conical shape (tipi), or a dome shape. Additional saplings were added to the top to strengthen the framework and others were tied on horizontally. On top of the saplings reed mats were laced in the winter. In the summer pieces of bark were used. In the northern regions, birch was used, but in Iowa, Elm bark (as shown here) was preferred. Birch was unavailable to the Prairie tribes who lived south of the whitebirch zone, which extended from the upper Midwest into New England. The reed mats and the bark could be transported to the next seasonal home, as the Indians moved in small groups to winter hunting sites, or returned to the home base in summer. Only the framework would need to be constructed. A smoke hole was left in the top, with a fireplace below. Sleeping areas along the sides were made of mats or platforms. In some tribes the lodges housed multiple families. Resources: State Historical Society of Iowa Ritzenthaler, Robert, and Pat Ritzenthaler. The Woodland Indians of the Western Great Lakes. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1983. Tanner, Helen Hornbeck, ed. Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press for the Newberry Library, 1987. How we learn about communities; American communities in history; Westward Expansion; Native American Stories; Prehistoric Indians of Illinois; Illustrated Timeline of Illinois Settlement 16 History; 18 Social Systems; 17 Geography
|State Historical Society of Iowa|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
Sauk and Fox Tribe
Indians of North America
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