What ancient Indians lived in Peru

Earth house

The earth house was sunk into the ground, covered with earth, which differed somewhat in its construction depending on the region.

There was some sort of venting device in the dome. The floor plan was mostly round. The entrances were designed differently, partly over the roof or as in the picture in front, but also lower than the hut floor to prevent heat loss. The earth house was used, for example, by the Mandan and Hidatsa (they were big enough to take the residents' favorite horses with them), by some tribes of the Great Basin and the Southwest, but only there in summer.

Chickee Hut

This arbor-like house, which was typical of the Seminoles, was built on stilts and had no walls, but a pointed roof covered with palm leaves. Inside there was a platform above the floor on which the residents ate, slept and worked. Rich families lived in several houses. Food stores were also built on stilts.

Grass hut

The dome-shaped grass hut (Wickiup) consisted of a frame made of flexible branches, which was covered with woven mats made of grass. It was used by the tribes in the semi-deserts of Arizona and Nevada, e.g. by the Apaches, and was one of the simplest forms of living in North America.

Beam construction of a hogan

The Hogan is the typical form of living for the Navjos. It usually consists of tree trunks, more rarely of stones, is predominantly octagonal in shape and sealed with clay. It has a dome-shaped roof that is covered with earth and has a smoke outlet. The average size of a hogan is about 6 m.


The long house is the typical form of living for the Iroquois, in which several families of one clan lived. It had a gable roof shape and could be up to 50m long. In the middle there was a corridor with several hearths and on both sides of the corridor there were separate separate areas for one family each, either east or west. Several long houses, surrounded by palisades, formed a village. On the Atlantic coast there were also longhouses with barrel roofs without a central aisle and among the Kutenai tribes of the plateau in the northwest of the USA 50m long longhouses with tent or roof character.

Plank house

The plank house was the dwelling of the residents of the northwest coast. It consisted of a series of central support beams for the mighty roof girders. The floor of the house was mostly terraced in two steps, with the upper terrace at the same level as the ground. These gabled roof houses faced the sea in rows. In front of these often 15m by 10m large (there should have been houses in which up to 300 people lived), windowless houses stood the carved wooden totem poles that are characteristic of this area. These houses were inhabited by the Haida, Nootka, Tlingit and others.


To speak of the pueblo is probably wrong at most about the pueblo village. It consists of several terraced, box-shaped houses made of stone, clay, wood or adobe, which can be free-standing or adapted to the natural rocky landscape. There are no foundations, the stone walls are placed directly on the ground. The roofs are made of tree trunks combined with layers of thin woods, grass and clay. The entrance in the form of a hatch is on the roof (also served as a smoke outlet and light supply) and can only be reached via a ladder. At night these ladders are pulled up for protection. The old pueblos originally had no windows and doors; they have only recently been retrofitted. Pueblo villages are typical of the southwest. Pueblo Indians are e.g. the Hopi, Zuni and Tano.


The tipi is of course the dwelling of the nomadic tribes of the plains (Lakota, Blackfeet, Crow, etc.), but also the temporary, summery form of living of the semi-settled tribes of the prairie (Arikara, Omaha, Osage, etc.). The tipi is a cone-shaped pole tent, consisting of a frame made of narrow tree trunks and a tarpaulin made of leather, which was later replaced by canvas tarpaulins. The diameter could vary from a modest 4m (Jagdtipi) to 10 or 12m. There were smoke flaps at the top for extracting the smoke. The tarpaulin was anchored to the ground with pegs or stones. The fireplace was dug almost in the middle of the rather oval tipi, below the smoke flap opening. The entrance always pointed to the east, towards the rising sun. Often the outer walls were painted artfully.


The wigwam is in the real sense the word for dwelling from the language of the Algonquin. It could be a cone-shaped tent covered with birch bark (e.g. Cree) or, if no bark was available, with skins (Kutschin). But it could also be a dome-shaped hut (like in the picture on the left), which was also built with mats made of birch bark, rushes or tarpaulin made of hides (e.g. the winter hut of the Sauk and Fox). The dome-shaped wigwam was probably modeled on the Innuit (Eskimo) igloo. In adventure and Indian literature, the word wigwam has been used for the sake of simplicity or out of ignorance for all forms of living.