Page:The American Indian.djvu/153

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109
ARCHITECTURE

southern origin, lived in long, rectangular, bark-covered communal houses known in local literature as the "long houses."[1] The structural similarity of this to one of the southern types is obvious. West of Lake Michigan the dome-shaped Algonkin house often gave way to a rectangular one with a flat roof, and among the Eastern Dakota we meet with this form made by setting up rows of posts in the ground. A little farther west on the Missouri we have what is usually called an earth-lodge, a circular, conical-roofed framework covered with thatch and finally with turf.[2] However, its distribution is restricted in the main to Caddoan and Siouan tribes of bison hunters, who also raised some maize.

Next, we have a well-known type of shelter to which the Dakota name, tipi, is usually applied. In the East, it appears in northern New England, extending up into Labrador, thence eastward through the great Cree and Ojibway range, well up into the Canadian Northwest. Also, it sweeps down into the bison area, reaching some of the nomadic peoples of the Pueblo area and again invading the salmon area in Oregon and Washington. The other forms of shelter we have noted have all but disappeared, while the tipi is still used by the surviving tribes of this great area. These conditions tend to make it the most typical Indian shelter, and it now has so firm a place in the popular mind that it is used in art and story, regardless of the locality. Not infrequently we see pictures of Pocahontas, Henry Hudson on Manhattan, and even of California incidents associated with tipis, a form of shelter entirely inappropriate. The term wigwam in Colonial literature is the Algonkin name for the oval bark-covered house we have described, and the modern tendency to apply the same name to the tipi has led to great confusion.

It is not to be expected that we shall find a single type of tipi prevailing throughout. The essential structural concept is a tripod of poles, supporting other poles forming a cone.[3] The base tripod is formed by binding together three or four poles, but in far western Canada these poles sometimes have interlocking forks, a feature also noted in southern Nevada and in the older type of Navajo hogan. Where birch trees

  1. Morgan, 1881. I.
  2. Fletcher and La Flesche, 1911. I; Spinden and Will, 1906. I.
  3. Wissler, 1910. I.