add to favorites : reference url back to results : previous : next
Zoom in Zoom out Pan left Pan right Pan up Pan down Maximum resolution Fit in window Fit to width Rotate left Rotate right Hide/show thumbnail
Meskawki Lodge
Meskawki Lodge
Resource Typeimage
TitleMeskawki Lodge
Coverage / Year1905 to Present
DescriptionTraditional house form utilized by Woodland Indians of the Great Lakes Region. Meskwaki settlement near Tama, Iowa. 1905.
InterpretationMeskwaki is the current spelling, preferred over Mesquakie. They were Fox as opposed to Sac, allied groups that were made one tribe by U.S. treaties. The lodge, or wigwam, was ubiquitous, used by many tribes. It was constructed of a series of cut saplings. The large ends were sharpened and stuck in the ground in a circular or oval pattern. The tops of the saplings were bent towards each other and laced together in a conical shape (tipi), or a dome shape. Additional saplings were added to the top to strengthen the framework and others were tied on horizontally. On top of the saplings reed mats were laced in the winter. In the summer pieces of bark were used. In the northern regions, birch was used, but in Iowa, Elm bark (as shown here) was preferred. Birch was unavailable to the Prairie tribes who lived south of the whitebirch zone, which extended from the upper Midwest into New England. The reed mats and the bark could be transported to the next seasonal home, as the Indians moved in small groups to winter hunting sites, or returned to the home base in summer. Only the framework would need to be constructed. A smoke hole was left in the top, with a fireplace below. Sleeping areas along the sides were made of mats or platforms. In some tribes the lodges housed multiple families. Resources: State Historical Society of Iowa Ritzenthaler, Robert, and Pat Ritzenthaler. The Woodland Indians of the Western Great Lakes. Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Museum, 1983. Tanner, Helen Hornbeck, ed. Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press for the Newberry Library, 1987.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities; American communities in history; Westward Expansion; Native American Stories; Prehistoric Indians of Illinois; Illustrated Timeline of Illinois Settlement
Learning Standards16 History; 18 Social Systems; 17 Geography;
Author or CreatorState Historical Society of Iowa
Subject / KeywordsMesquakie; Tipi; Wigwam; Powwow; Pow wow; Bark; Lodge; Fox; Wikiup; Sauk and Fox Tribe; Woodland Indians; Indians of North America
Collection PublisherIllinois Heritage Association;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource IdentifierIHA00126
CONTENTdm file name3754181962002_IHA00126.jpg
powered by CONTENTdm ® | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Homepage ^ to top ^