Wigwams

The Abenaki lived in wigwams. These circular dome-shaped dwellings were made from available bark and saplings lashed together with strips of spruce roots or babiche (rawhide). They housed one or at most two families. Usually found near croplands, the Abenaki wigwams were permanent dwellings that could be lived in for several years.

Another structure which was used as temporary housing while hunting or gathering  was a cone-shaped teepee-like structure. A third structure was used as a council house or for visiting guests. These large elongated bark structures had rounded ends and usually one central fire.

This reconstructed building is a small version of a council or guesthouse. It has been adapted to fit available space and for accessibility. It is made from maple saplings and the bark of basswood and balm of Gilead trees, lashed together with deer hide. Greg Osowski, an Abenaki from Holland, Vermont, built it with the help of Rodney Cornell, Brett Farrow, Marc Farrow, Alan Hanks, and Mike Lyon.

Outside view of wigwam at vhs museum

inside of wigwam

Copyright 2006, Vermont Historical Society.  All rights reserved.
Reproduction of photographs or text without written permission is prohibited.