What Do Kwakiutl Houses Look Like?

Kwakiutl houses were large square structures made of red cedar wood planks. They were usually between 40 and 60 feet long on each side. The exterior walls of the houses were often painted with murals that depicted significant events and people from the inhabitants’ lineage.

Kwakiutl houses were designed to provide shelter for a single extended family or lineage group. The inside of the house was divided with earthen walls to create separate bedroom areas for each family unit in the group. However, the center of the house was left open so all inhabitants could gather to share meals and discuss important business.