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how long does it take to build a wigwam?

I think about 12 days. Very Hard

Although they have been built in less than a week -- that's 10 days for a westerner. Wekn reven 09:05, 3 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Westerner?) I'll have to research my source (ca. mid-1900's) but a 1st person narrative described his/her experience with the Algonquins as a community (~wiki?) project that took several hours to a day, depending on the availability of materials. The first being a larger common shelter, and the rest also being cooperatively built for individuals or families.
Boldklub-PJs (talk) 17:33, 30 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I guess it depends on what the covering is and how big the wigwam is. But in the case of a frame covered with skins or other pre-made material, it can be done in a few hours if there is a suitable supply of branches for the frame. How long it takes to construct depends on what you have to start with. For instance it is a very slow process to make a rope from cedar bark, but once you have that rope you can reuse it. It could take a long time to hunt enough animals and to prepare their skins, but once you have a cover you can reuse it. Assembling the frame itself goes pretty quickly if suitable wood is available. I speak from first hand experience of having assisted in the construction of a smaller one. manyshoes — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 15 September 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


see the discussion on Talk:Tipi for more about wigwams and wickiups (and tipis). - Ish ishwar 2005 Jan 11 Wigwams are made out of waterproof cotton canvas


I was looking for the progressive rock band, "Wigwam". Since there's no such article yet, being redirected to wickiup was fine if there had been an explanation what the name wigwam is and why it's appropriate or inappropriate to use.

Yes, should clear up these loose ends. - Ish ishwar 18:30, 2005 Mar 2 (UTC)

wigman & wickiup & tipi[edit]

Below is my post from Talk: Tipi:

I'm not an anthropologist, but I know a little about this. I think that generally the terms wigwam and wickiup refer to the domed dwellings built many indigenous peoples of North America while tipis refer to the conical dwellings. It seems to me that wigwam is used for tribes in eastern North America and wickiup is used for tribes in western and southwestern America. But, I also believe that many also do not distinguish between domed or conical dwellings in which case tipi and wigwam may be interchangeable (which would explain this redirect, I guess). Some peoples used conical dwelling while others used domed dwellings and still others used both (sometimes for different purposes).
Wigwam and wickiup are also used to refer to somewhat similar dwellings used by non-American peoples. The terms have even been extended to simple huts and shantys created by Euro-Americans.
I recently created an article for wickiup with description & pictures so you can check that out. Perhaps wigwam should redirect there for now. My knowledge is mostly restricted to Southern Athabaskan cultures which the article reflects in my anthropological selection about Chiricahua Apache wickiups.
Derivations of the terms: (according to OED)
Wickiup and wigman are derived from the same word(s) (from words in different but related languages).
  • wickiup   <   [(Menominee wikiop, Saki wekeab; cf. Cree mekewap, Montagnais mitshiuap); perhaps a variant of wikiwam, wigwam]
  • wigwam   <   [Ojibwa wigwaum, wigiwam, variant of Algonquin weekuwom, wikiwam (Delaware wiquoam) lit. 'their house' (cf. neek 'my house', keek 'thy house', week 'his house')]

more info[edit]

Here is another etymology note from American Heritage dictionary (4th ed. online) (2000):

Etymology of wigman < Eastern Abenaki wìkəwαm
Etymology of wickiup < Fox wiikiyaapi 'wigwam'
English has adopted two words for Native American dwellings from languages in the Algonquian family. Both wigwam and wickiup come from the Algonquian root wik– (with a variant wig–) 'to dwell', to which suffixes are added. Wigwam comes from Abenaki wigwam (spelled various ways) and means 'their dwelling'; wickiup comes from Fox dialect wikiyap or wikiyapi, 'a dwelling, wigwam'.

Some notes about the languages mentioned above since there are numerous names for these:

  • Eastern Abenaki is spoken in Maine. (Eastern Algonquian)
  • Fox is one dialect (spoken by the Mesquakie in Iowa) of a three dialect language called Fox-Sauk-Kickapoo. Also called Mequakie. (Central Algonquian)
  • Menominee is spoken in Wisconsin. Also called Menomini. (Central Algonquian)
  • Cree is spoken in a large area of Canada. (Central Algonquian)
  • Montagnais is a dialect of Cree (so it is not clear what OED is referring to with Cree). (Central Algonquian)
  • Ojibwa is spoken in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Also called Ojibway, Ojibwe, Chippeway. (Central Algonquian)
  • Algonquin is a dialect of Ojibwa (again not clear in OED). (Central Algonquian)
  • Saki is the French name for Sauk one of dialects of Fox-Sauk-Kickapoo. Sauk is spoken by the Sac and the Fox in Oklahoma and by the Nemaha Sauk in Kansas & Nebraska. (Central Algonquian)
  • Delaware was spoken in New York and New Jersey (but speakers were moved to Ontario). Also called Munsee. (Eastern Algonquian)

Cheers. - Ish ishwar 19:34, 2005 Mar 2 (UTC)


Wigwam is the much more common British English version of this. Maybe this should be noted in the article. I'm in the UK, but have never heard of a Wickiup. Hedley 19:03, 23 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I concur, wigwam is far more common, as I have never heard the term wikiup either. — Nicholas (reply) @ 22:19, 31 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Easy explaination, British never colonized to the west of the Mississippi, so were not exposed to other words for the same kind of dwelling in North America. :) I would guess most english speakers in the US would know the term wigwam. However, the military in 1800s definately used the term wikiup. --Rcollman 13:10, 22 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wigwam, tipi, wickiup: the differences[edit]

I think there is an improper split between the concepts of "wigwam" and "tipi", namely that wigwams were domed and tipis were conical, and that is how you tell the difference. But historically, I do not think this is correct.

First of all, some wigwams were conical. The Beothuk (or at least some Beothuk) made them. But they died out in the early 1800s, and so no one has seen a conical wigwam for a long time. It is true that Beothuk wigwams were not as high and pointy as a typical plains tipi, but they were still conical.

Second, the real difference is this: the wigwam and the tipi were both portable, temporary dwellings made by placing sheets of something (hides, etc.) over a framework of poles. However:

  • A wigwam is a woodland dwelling. You carry the sheets with you, and you use whatever poles you find at your destination.
  • A tipi is a plains dwelling. You carry both sheets and poles with you, since your destination may have no trees.

I imagine the differing heights and shapes were driven by the conditions in which the two dwellings were built. For example, maybe a wigwam has a low peak because there are likely to be branches overhead.

All this suggests to me that, while most of the relevant article text is okay, perhaps a change of emphasis is called for: in particular, that a wigwam is not so much defined by shape as by environment and practice. And the same goes for a tipi. (Although it should be noted that current informal usage calls any conical sheets-over-poles hut a "tipi".)

Lastly, I know nothing about wickiups, but based on what I know of wigwams, and the text in this article, it seems that they two are different (although they have similarities) and probably should not be redirected together. In particular:

  • The wickiup seems to have more usage as a semi-permanent dwelling than the wigwam.
  • A wickiup seems to take longer to make than a wigwam.
  • A wickiup is usually covered with brush, while wigwams usually used hides or moss.

I'm not an expert on this (in particular, everything from "I imagine …" on down is a guess), and I would be interested in hearing what an expert has to say about this. Also, I don't have my references with me now, but I can provide them later, if necessary.

Thoughts? — Nowhither 02:18, 10 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like the woodland dwelling but I would not describe the southwest as a woodland area (wikiups). Wigwam is relatively low because it bends poles found in the area. It is also a more stable shape than a tipi. It would be difficult to transport curved poles, thus the tipi cone works and is higher.
Probably sticking to indigenous terminology is not helpful since there are innumerable people and languages and each has evolved differing systems of terminology. Certainly there is 1) a dome-like structure made with bent sticks and covered with either vegetation or some sort of tarp, 2) the classic teepee, which we may leave alone, 3) a teepee-like structure built from found materials and intended to be more permanent and less refined than a teepee. This image from the Grand Canyon is what I have in mind.[1]
Kortoso (talk) 23:16, 20 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


wiigiwaam (Wigwam) and other o`ogaan (Hogan) clues from the Ojibwe language[edit]

At least in the Ojibwe language, there are diffent types of buildings/lodges.

Classed by shape:

  • Gakaaga'ogaan (Square-lodge)
  • Nisawa'ogaan (Pointed-lodge: lean-to)(also "Nasawa'ogaan")
  • Bajiishka'ogaan (Pointed-lodge: conical)
  • Waaginogaan (Domed-lodge)
    • Waaginogaanens - small domed building
  • Ginoondawaan (Long-lodge)

Classed by material:

  • Aki (Earth)
    • Akiiwe-wiigiwaam - earthen Wigwam (usually domed)
  • Wiigwaas (Birch)
    • Wiigiwaam - Wigwam (can be domed or pointed)
    • Wiigwaasigamig - Birch-bark sturcture (can be domed or square)
  • Mashkosi (Grass)
    • Mashkosiigaan - Sod structure (can be domed or square)
  • Wanagek (bark)(usually cedar-bark)
    • Wanagekogamig - bark sturcture (square or pointed-lean-to)
  • Wiish (pile)
    • Wiishiw - beavers and muskrats generally make a domed pile
    • Wiishkoons - beavers and muskrats generally make a domed pile, but this structure is smaller, generally assiciated more with muskrats

Classed by occupant/function:

  • Aakozi (Illness)
    • Aakoziiwigamig (Hospital)
  • Amik (Beaver)
    • Amikogamig
    • Amikwiish
  • Gikinoo`amaadi (Learning)
    • Gikinoo`amaadiiwigamig (School)
  • Iskigamizige (sap-boiling)
    • Iskigamizigewigamig
    • Iskigamizigewiigiwaam
  • Maadoodoo (Sweat)
  • Mide (Grand Medicine Society)
    • Midewigaan
    • Midewigamig
  • Onaakonige (Judge)
    • Onaakonigewigamig (Courthouse)
  • Wazhashk (Muskrat)
    • Wazhashkogamig
    • Wazhashkwiish

This third group list can go on and on, so I will stop here.

My point being that for a "wiigiwaam" in the Woodlands area, either domed or pointed-lean-to are assumed, but in the Plains area, either pointed-lean-to or pointed-conical are assumed. The term "wiigiwaam" among the Ojibwe are not something that is absolutely defined and depending on the community's dominant out-look, a same structure can be described by any of the three general grouping names. CJLippert 15:53, 21 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, and one other note: all structured under "shape" are called "wigwam" in the English used by the Woodlands Ojibwa and the same set are called "tipi" in the English used by the Plains Ojibwe, so by this, you can have a conical "wigwam" as well as a domed "tipi".CJLippert 19:55, 21 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page Edit comments[edit]

I learned a lot on the discussion page after I did some word editing! We need to appreciate that different groups use the term in different ways. As a non-Native American, with some cross cultural experience, put me in the ethnocentric camp in my edit. I would have never said a wigwam was made of earth, thus the Navajo hogan does not fit. I maybe more correct from a non-Native American useage but what does that mean? Still think my general edits are not too offensive. It does recognize a difference between the Eastern wigwam and western wikiups.

The other issue that has not been mentioned is cultural adaptation. For example, when did some Apache start putting cloth on the top of their dwellings and how did this change their construction methods? Very interesting --Rcollman 13:38, 22 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opler quote[edit]

Although the passage from Opler's book under "Anthropological Description" is cited, I'm not sure about its use in this context. It's long—really long. In fact, it makes up the bulk of the section. Does that still constitute fair use? Can this section be re-written by someone who understands the anthropological issues at hand? I dropped by as this was the featured picture on the front page, and know next to nothing about wickiups, or I'd do it myself. —Ryan McDaniel 16:35, 3 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Chicago Wigwam Building[edit]

The role of this building in the 1860 Republican National Convention is in question. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 00:02, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hrm. This site, from Chicago's government, clearly says that The Wigwam was the site of the 1860 Republican Convention... --Miskwito 10:15, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And this illustration also seems to support this claim (the caption reads "THE REPUBLICANS IN NOMINATING CONVENTION IN THEIR WIGWAM AT CHICAGO MAY 1860", if I'm reading it correctly) --Miskwito 10:19, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I just though everyone here should know that I've updated the dictionary definition at wiktionary. The ammount of references there makes this articles look like a joke. Perhaps someone should add some more direct references. Good luck. --CyclePat 19:51, 23 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Apache wickiup.jpg[edit]

Image:Apache wickiup.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot 20:56, 29 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The image in question was determined free of copyright on 3 September 2007 by Ish ishwar -- see the image's history and rationale. CJLippert 14:14, 17 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image copyright problem with Image:Chiricahua medicine man.jpg[edit]

The image Image:Chiricahua medicine man.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

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The following images also have this problem:

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --22:50, 19 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In the picture below, this is not "frame of Crow wickiup in snow" - this is frame of sweat lodge. ;-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:09, 25 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


To draft an article for Wikipedia. DOR (HK) (talk) 09:42, 1 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Complete sentences are preferred. :) A tipi like structure that is different in structure from a wigwam, is sometimes called a wikiup or some variant of that spelling. I'm fully aware that wikiup and wigwam are variously confusing, but the structure of the following dwelling is not included in this article: [1]
Kortoso (talk) 22:53, 20 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Current Practices?[edit]

The use of both past & present tense in this article creates some confusion as to whether the article describes traditional practices or whether these practices continue to be followed by today's (relatively) indigenous people (or by native culture enthusiasts/revivalists). In addition, presumably dwelling construction changed considerably over time (and in particular in the 19th and 20th centuries as indigenous peoples were forceaeblyBlanba (talk) 00:01, 22 February 2018 (UTC) relocated to non-traditional territories and exposed to European construction techniques and materials). As the article currently exists it creates what I can only assume must be an unintentional misimpression of cultural stasis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a dwelling, no. As ceremonial structures or as part of cultural education, yes. CJLippert (talk) 00:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]