Talk:Longhouses of the indigenous peoples of North America

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Scope and history[edit]

As I'm studying the "What links here" list of this article and from the more central Long house article I come to the conclusion that although the Iroquois longhouse may be by far the most well known and to some the only one of interest there have been a lot more tribes that know this building type. So far the Lenni Lenape/Delaware seem the oldest group in the east coast region. Are there any excavations of old longhouses? Did the east coast longhouse originate with them and others like the Iroquois to the north, that seem to have migrated here a lot later than the Lenape, the Erie and Wyandot to the west and the Powhattan, that may be related to the Lenape, to the south learned from them? Is there any Information on how old this building tradition is? The oldest longhouses in Europe seem to origin around 5000 BC. Longhouses excavated in Daepyeong in Korea may be from 1000 BC. What about America? Was the idea maybe brought to America during the Na-Dene migration? --T.woelk 12:31, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

PS this is not tru because is all liar —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Move/rename because of US-centric title[edit]

"Native American" is inappropriate in articles covering both sides of the border; and to me, in fact, there's a big difference between Iroquoian longhouses and the timber-and-beam halls of the Pacific Northwest; this should almost be at least two separate articles; but either one would need a better title; Native American and First Nations long house is too unwieldy - Aboriginal longhouses in North America maybe? SuggestionsSkookum1 (talk) 18:55, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreed that need to be better name. But I personally can't think of a better one right now. I think those might be a bit too wordy. Even between Coast Salish and the northern Wakashan language groups, there is a clear difference in architectural design of each households. So even on the west coast, there is a clear distinction just like between Haudenosaunee (sp?) and west coaster longhouses. I was thinking bighouse because that's what their referred to up north, but that's go to prison, so that's a no. Could make them language specific? But that's casting just a odd a net as Native American and First Nations longhouses or Aboriginal longhouses in North America. I'll keep thinking about it. OldManRivers (talk) 08:07, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought of bighouse too, as that's used by the coastal peoples; it could always be disambiguated - "Big House" is the "proper" way to "spell" the prison meaning anyway, not as one word but two. Another option for each type of building is to use the aboriginal name in each case; whatever the Kwakwaka'wakw term would be as an article on Kwakwaka'wakw long/bighouses (more than one type, too, right?), the Nuu-chah-nulth term for Nuu-chah-nulth houses, and so on. Also in some cases, particularly Coast Salish, isn't there something more like a lean-to rather than a gabled building, as with the more northerly/outer coastal peoples. BTW did you ever seen Dead Man Walking, sometimes titled Dead Man, by Jim Jarmusch? The last scene is in the Makah Illahee, and there's a huge complex of bighouses in the scene; not sure if these are actual Makah buildings or built for the film, but it was an impressive set; not sure how accurate at all, but.....anyway back to the lean-to concept, I know that's how Xa:ytem's ancient longhouse was built, and also how today's museum has been built. Post-and-beam but of a different kind than the usual vision of a coastal longhouse. Also there were seasonal structures on the fishing grounds that were open on the one side; in Hauka's McGowan's War he quotes from someone's journal of a journey from Victoria to the goldfields where the shores of the South Arm of the Fraser are lined for miles by such lean-tos, all abandoned at that time of year but apparently very impressive n scale. Anyway, back to the idea of how to cover all these diverse types of buildings; one article is not right, I'd say, and the idea I gave above for disambiguating both longhouse and bighouse with specific aboriginal names/types of buildings is the way to go; remember, such terms also occure in Polynesia, Indonesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and perhaps elsewhere. There's also the longhouse religion which was in the news in BC so much a couple of decades ago because of beatings suffered in the induction or other ceremonies; the "Indian shaker" movement, I think it was also called. One last thought - the resemblance in structure/design between coastal longhouses and old Norse/Scandinavian houses is striking; I'm not saying there's a connection (although someone tried, I think it was Frank Ney that theorized the "Vikings" had made it to the Northwest Coast via the Northwest Passage....yeah, uh-huh), but still the similarities are very striking; I'll have to dig you up some images sometime....but there need be no more similarity than a consequence of similar building materials (large trees) and a climate where large interior spaces are neede. It's like the infamous comparison between tiki and totem poles that some try to draw a connection between (not that Kanaka carvers might have been among those who visited/intermarried with coastal peoples), ditto with Ainu "totem poles", although they're more similar in concept to PacNW ones....Skookum1 (talk) 16:32, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
haha, I didn't know the longhouse winter ceremonies got into the news. I'm not surprised. There is a Indian Shaker Church article already. Coast Salish longhouses are different from northern, but they also have difference styles. There are some that have similarities to northern bighouses and there are some that have none. Within my language, we have names for all kinds of houses. Dance-Houses, Home-Houses, Community-Houses, Out-Houses, Sweatlodge-Houses, etc. Up north there is also a diversity in architectural style. I do intend to put them on the articles page about the architecture. I have diagrams that I'm going to re-create with photoshop then upload to commons. But as for an article in just longhouses and bighouses, I'll have to keep thinking of a name. OldManRivers (talk) 18:32, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Unless you're going to specify by culture, how about just North American longhouse? - TheMightyQuill (talk) 01:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
That's kind of the point here; there's a big difference betwween Algonkian longhouses and the various different kinds of coastal longhouses - aside from the use-distinctions which OMR describes some were big lean-tos (Old Man House), some were "gambrel"-roofed (Puget Sound only), and the shapes of even the timber-beamed ones are very different from people to people. Materials, purpose etc are all very different; and each article can be, or will be, quite lengthy in its own right, even within one cultuer e.g. Haida longhouse vs. Coast Salish longhouse and even the Coast Salish one can, or should, be broken up by people or group/area....there were battlement-type large quigglies in the Interior, I can't recall if they were referred to as longhouses or not; there it was a matter of survival, though, less of ceremonial, in a very harsh winter a lot of that country summer structures weren't used; easier to camp in the heat....Skookum1 (talk) 23:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
How about "Architecture of indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast". NB that "Indigenous architecture of the Pacific Northwest Coast" means something different and need not refer only to indigenous peoples' architecture; it's just with the diversity of buildings that the general term "architecture" maybe is more suitable.....Skookum1 (talk) 23:34, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
What about splitting it like this:
The organization of this could be on the Long_house#The_Americas section with the major groups split into their own sections there. It would serve KIND of like a disambig page, but just on the general Long house page. The rest of the article seems to be like that but the North America section is abismal. I can do the move and add content next week but would like to hear thoughts on this idea. OldManRivers (talk) 19:00, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
N.B. I cleared the redirect from Bighouse to The Big House, so it should be fine to use "Bighouse" alone as an article title, with a hatnote to direct readers who actually spell "Big House" as one word. — Rob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 20:01, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, it helps...just to note that what the "Big House" = Prison in the Northwest was rendered by "Skookum house", the strong house, although that could also mean a blockhouse; strong as in both power and locked-up by strength kinda...anyway in Chinook Jargon "big house" is tyee house - tyee means both "chief" and "biggest", "most important" and a direct translation of that can be bighouse and just guessing and can't cite this but that's probably how hte latter term came into wide use; unless the Kwakwaka'wakw term also translates as "big house"....I think the tyee thing is also the source of the term "chief's house" although it's also a given that the big house probably was the chief's, or representative/ a manifestation of the chief's power. But "chief" also has a shifting meaning in the region and doesn't mean waht we associated with Sitting Bill and Tecumseh etc....Skookum1 (talk) 23:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
That reminds me that once the articles are created, getting the words from each of the languages would be something good to add. Coast Salish is a bit different because there were different types of houses (Potlatch houses, Homes, Dance houses, etc.) where as up north they were kind of all the same and had very few words, at least this is my understanding. The words in Pacific Northwest Coastal languages would give a well rounded picture with the meaning of each of the words to understand the "Big house" or "Long house". K, I will work on this next week! OldManRivers (talk) 22:49, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Quebec inclusion[edit]

I notice that there is no mention of Quebec in the description of the lands inhabited by the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee. Hochelaga was a settlement containing a great number of longhouses, and remains of longhouses have been found on the Boucherville Islands south of Montreal. I will therefore add Quebec to New York and Ontario as a region in which longhouses were built. Mattyleg (talk) 21:52, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Wording of "Coastal Indians in the Pacific Northwest"[edit]

The main titles in the article use the term 'indigenous peoples' which is great, but the wording has not been reflected back further into the article, specifically 'Coastal Indians in the Pacific Northwest'. Is there any reason why Coastal Indians can't/ shouldn't be changed to 'Indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest' for example? Ottawaorrell (talk) 16:40, 19 January 2017 (UTC)