[chi-kee, chik-ee]
A chickee is a type of home invented by the Northern Seminole tribe. Chickee is the Seminole word for "house". The chickee style of architecture - palmetto thatch over a bald cypress log frame - was born during the early 1800s when Seminole Indians, pursued by U.S. troops, needed fast, disposable shelter while on the run. A raised wooden platform was also built into the sleeping and working chickee to provide cooling and protection from animals, insects, and flooding. Each chickee had its own purpose and together they were organized within a camp type community. Chickees were used for cooking, sleeping and eating.

Modern Use

Chickees continue to be used by Native American Villages of the Miccosukee in the Everglades. Some upscale homes in southern Florida feature chickee-inspired buildings as garden or poolside structures. Even a few restaurants in Florida still use this unique design to attract visitors.

Chickees are also used in backcountry areas of Everglades National Park where mangroves or large bodies of water to prevent camping on dry land. Made and maintained primarily for backcountry campers, these wooden structures stand several feet above the water and can usually accommodate 4-5 campers. These structures have portable restrooms. Some "double chickees" are linked together by a walkway and can accommodate 8-10 people.There are also about 8-10 houses in one village of the chickees.

Chiki Bar

The Chiki Bar is derived from the word Chickei which is a dwelling used by the Native Americans indigenous to the Southeast United States. Chickees were adopted by residential and commercial entities primarily in south Florida for use as outdoor shelters for entertainment venues. Over time their use became more widespread and wet bars were set up inside. Soon, the word Chiki was derived from the term Tiki to reflect the more commonly known Tiki hut from the South Pacific. Finally, the term Chiki Bar is now common place in South Florida and is sometimes commonly exchanged with the term Tiki Bar.

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