What Kinds of Homes Did the Inuit People Build?


Quick Answer

The Inuit people mostly lived in wooden houses made of driftwood. They normally stayed in igloos only when camping or during snowstorms. Some of them did spend the winter in igloos, and in summer they lived in leather tents.

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Full Answer

The most common dwelling of the Inuit people was a small wooden house made of driftwood covered with dirt. These houses were built near the coast, so the people could be close to their fishing places and boats. Since wood was scarce, they made their houses small so they could heat up easily. Without enough firewood or other sources of warmth, the only heat in the house was that coming from their bodies. The small dimensions of the houses made it possible for this modest source of heat to be enough to keep them warm.

In cases of camping and snowstorms, they built igloos to protect themselves from the snow and cold in as little as half an hour. Making igloos helped save a lot of lives, mostly during the winter, when the weather is harsh and there are bad storms.

Some Inuit who lived in the areas of Greenland and eastern Canada even spent whole winters in igloos. The beds in igloos were made of snow and covered with the scarce material they could find, typically twigs and fur. In the summer, the weather was somewhat milder and the igloos melted, so the families had to relocate. Their new dwellings were usually tents made of leather.

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