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Native American Life on the Great Plains

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Earth Lodge

As shown in the image above, the earth lodge of the Northern Plain Indians was a circular, dome-shaped house, usually made of posts and beams that were covered with branches, grass, and earth. Like a teepee, an earth lodge usually had an opening in the center of the roof for smoke and an earth floor. Each earth lodge was home to an extended family of 10 to 30 people.

Fun Fact: Each earth lodge stored surplus food, such as corn and sunflower seeds, in a bell-shaped hole called a cache pit.

Photo source: Library of Congress

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