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Our Nation > Culture > Housing > Winter House

Winter House

Hashtolaꞌ chokkaꞌ or winter house was built for warmth and insulation. The timbers used in its construction were much heavier, and the outside walls were coated with a daub of clay, stomped wet grass and crushed shells. Unlike the summer house with its sharp angles and rectangular shape, the winter house resembles a snail’s shell. This kept the freezing cold wind and rain from blowing into the living area. The design also provided an extra level of protection. The narrow, winding entrance could be easily defended against enemy intrusion.

This house typically had a circular floor plan and preferred to be built heavily insulated for use in bitter cold weather. The floors were sometimes dug into the ground two or three feet. The winter house was topped off with a conical roof supported in the center by four large posts laid out in a square. Before the clay covering was dry, the roof was covered with shingles made of tree bark or grass thatch laid down in circular courses starting at the bottom and ending at the top. Sometimes a carved wooden eagle was attached at the top.