How Do You Construct a Longhouse?


Quick Answer

To build a longhouse, you need Y-forked wooden poles, elm or black ash shingles, young sapling elm tree poles, and rope or wooden splints from slippery elm or bass wood fibers. A longhouse has two doors, no windows, and fire pits along its floors.

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How Do You Construct a Longhouse?
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Full Answer

Begin by setting the long wooden poles vertically into the ground with the Y forks facing the sky. Set these poles to form a large rectangle with a spacing of approximately 48 to 60 inches apart and standing 120 inches tall.

Lay the sapling elm tree poles horizontally over the top of the Y-forked foundation, and tie them into place using the wooden splints or rope. To enhance the strength of the foundation, place long poles along the upright poles, and tie them in place.

Create the roof by bending and tying the sapling elm tree poles into place. Tie cross beams horizontally across the elm tree poles to make the roof’s framework stronger. The roof is between 60 and 120 inches tall. Angle or slant the roof to prevent rain or heavy snowfall from damaging it.

Cover the outside of the house using the elm or black ash bark shingles, and tie them into place on the upright pole framework using bark rope. Leave open a smoke hole directly over every fire pit. Overlap the shingles to keep the rain or heavy snowfall from getting into the house. Place an outer frame of poles over the shingles, and tie together to finish off the longhouse.

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