Meet the People of the Longhouse
The traditional homes of the Iroquois were called longhouses. This structure, made of tree trunks, was covered with large pieces of elm or cedar bark. A longhouse measured from 20 m to 50m, the equivalent of five school buses lined up nose to tail. There was a door at each end. Openings in the roof functioned both as windows and as chimneys. They could be opened and shut using pieces of bark. Inside the house, there was a central alley along which were five to ten fireplaces. Each of these hearths served all the cooking and heating needs of two families. Along both sides of the alley, there were raised platforms, which were the living and sleeping areas. Food was kept on the highest platforms.
To learn more about longhouses and Iroquois villages visit the Royal Ontario Museum’s Virtual Exhibit:
Homes of the past: The Archeology of an Iroquoian Longhouse
And to Explore a village