What Are Indian House Names?

indian-house-names Credit: PHAS/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Indian house names include tipi, wigwam, pueblo, longhouse, plankhouse and earthlodge. These types of houses were found in various places throughout what was to become the United States. Some were more or less permanent, while others were temporary housing for nomadic tribes who often abandoned them when they moved on. Sometimes, these dwellings could be broken down and brought with their owners to new areas.

Tipis were wood-framed, conical houses made of light poles or branches that were latched together. Various materials were then placed over the frames to make the dwelling weatherproof. These materials could be animal skins, barks, thatch or woven mats of plant fibers. More sophisticated tipis had frames of buffalo hide that were sewn together. These types of tipis could be seen among the Plains Indians. They could also be adapted to protect the occupants against the heat of summer, the cold of winter or rain.

A wigwam was similar to a tipi in that it had a wooden frame, but it was circular. It was also called a wetu or a wikiup. It was covered with the same kinds of roofing as a tipi, but it took longer to set up and was not portable.