Inuit houses - the igloo
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Kidipede is a history and science encyclopedia for kids, with more than 2000 pages of expert answers to your questions.


Inuit Houses - Igloos


A boy building an igloo

Most of the time, most Inuit people lived in wooden houses built near the coast, where they could get to their fishing boats easily. They built their houses out of driftwood that washed up on the beach, and covered them with dirt to keep them warm. There was not enough wood so far north to keep fires going, so the Inuit built their houses very small, so that people's body heat was enough to keep them warm.

Inuit people only stayed in an igloo when they were camping, or got stuck out in a sudden snowstorm. Hunters could build an igloo in about half an hour, and that could save their lives if a blizzard blew up suddenly.

Inuit village
An Inuit village in 1575 AD

Some Inuit in eastern Canada and Greenland did live in igloos all winter, sleeping on beds made of snow covered with twigs and caribou furs. In the summer, when these igloos melted, the family moved into leather tents.

Click on these books to buy them at Amazon.com and learn more about Inuit houses:

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Cherokee architecture
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