Essay On Native American Architecture

698 Words 3 Pages
Our readings, so far, have not only been interesting but have, in fact, touched upon history in a way I did not expect. That unexpected brush with history through the medium of architecture, has broadened my ideas about not only architecture but also Native American society itself.

Let me begin by pointing out that when I’ve conjured up the idea of architecture in the past, that idea never included Native American housing. Through the misconception of my youth, I envisioned that style of housing as strictly utilitarian and slightly mobile and nomadic. Of course these functional attributes are elements of architecture, however I had not contemplated them in that manner before. The concept of architecture in my mind was always the beauty of handcrafted elements of detail and the beauty of the
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I completely misunderstood the idea of the tipi. I erroneously thought that all Native Americans lived in tipis full-time; picking up and moving about the country almost constantly, much like nomadic tribes of the Neanderthal period. Understanding that Native Americans had other permanent structures such as longhouses and earth lodges, and that tipis more often than not were mobile structures used for hunting trips, was like a light bulb going off in my head. How could I not remember that my childhood education included studying the Native American tribes that inhabited Ohio, and how they basically stayed in certain territories that they warred over constantly? Why I didn’t put two and two together to realize that these tribes did not embrace the mobility I had attributed to them in my mind, I’ll never know. However after reading our selections this week, I fully understand that Native American society was much more territory and community based than I had originally understood. This understanding makes the travesty of their displacement even more appalling than I originally thought it

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