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The Kawaiisu Culture

Shelter

Dwellings were fifteen to twenty-five feet in diameter. Smaller structures were used for storage. Built of juniper limbs bound together with willow boughs and thatched with brush, the structures were secured to the ground with rings of rocks.

Tomo-Kahni means Winter House, a conical-shaped structure that provided shelter during the winter. Bark and tule mats made the structure waterproof; tule mats served as a door. Though cooking was done outside the home, a smoke-hole in the roof allowed for a small fire pit inside. Rocks were heated in the fire pit for warmth at night.

Other forms of shelter were used in addition to the tomokahni. The women worked in a shade house (Havakahni) in the summer. Sweathouses (tivikahni) were built and shaped in the same manner as the tomokhani, but covered with earth instead of brush. A simple walled circle made of brush was often used for communal meetings, while brush enclosures were used as windbreaks. Granaries used to store acorns, nuts and seeds were built two feet or more above the ground to protect them from rodents.

Evidence of temporary encampments is found throughout the mountains and valleys. Caves, hardly more than rock shelters, were also exploited. In addition to providing shelter from the elements, caves seem to have been occupied for a variety of purposes such as birthing, ceremonies, lookouts and storage.

The Kawaiisu Culture
History
Language & Homeland
Contact with Others
Social Organization
Shelter
Diet
Food Preparation
Basketry
Tools and Implements
Clothing and Adornments
Recreation
Stories and Myths
Rock Art

Natural History
Geology
Weather

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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