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The Coming of the Europeans

American History, Volume I: Aboriginal America (New York: Sheldon, 1860)

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Art & Architecture


by a row of very stout poles or stems of trees, which, are set close together on the top of the bank and meet in the center above. The roof is thatch- ed with willow boughs and then plastered over with clay, so as to make it perfectly water-proof. In the center of the interior is a fire-place, which consists simply of a shallow depression in the ground. This fire-place can, of course, be ap- proached on every side,, and it is for the use in common of all the families that inhabit the lodge.

The space at the circumference of the lodge, extending along the wall, is divided into separate compartments, like the cabins of a ship, for the several families. Sometimes very rich and showy curtains are used to separate these compartments from each other, and the posts which are set up to divide them are hung with arms and armor, and also with scalps, antlers and other trophies.

Each family has a bedstead within its compart- ment. A buffalo skin stretched over it forms both sacking and bed. Another buffalo skin serves the combined purpose of sheets, blankets and counter- pane; while a third, properly folded, fulfills the function of both bolster and pillows.

Some of these Indians carry their luxury, in the matter of dress and decoration, very far. An American traveler once gave fifty dollars for the

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