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How to use the Ojibwe People's Dictionary

Carrie A. Lyford explaining the different types of dwellings

Four types of family dwellings (wigiwam, s., wigiwaman, pl.) were used by the Ojibwa--the domed and peaked wigwams for use in winter, and the bark house and conical lodge for use in the summer. The domed wigwam (wagonan, s., waginonan, pl.) had vertical sides of poles or saplings set in the ground and bent over in a series of arches. Encircling horizontal poles were tied firmly to the vertical poles at intervals with strips of green basswood fiber. Cattail mats were used for walls and roof. Sheets of birch, ash, or elm bark were laid over the upper mats to provide a water proof roof. Both mats and bark were put on so as to overlap like shingles. The framework was permanent, the coverings could be carried from place to place. In the permanent camp sites the floor plan was rectangular. A circular form, however, was employed for the sweat lodges, menstrual huts, and temporary dwellings.
Carrie A. Lyford, The Crafts of the Ojibwa (U.S. Office of Indian Affairs: A Publication of the Education Division, 1942) 17.