The Pueblo house is built of stone cemented with adobe clay. These houses were often built several stories high and for defensive purposes might be built without doors on the ground floor. Ladders, which could be pulled up in time of trouble, led to the upper level. The only entry was on the roof.
Representative of the Pawnee way of life are two "earth lodges" at Indian City. At first sight, these look like simple, hump-back dug-outs or man-made caves. Inside however, the visitor sees that it is much more elaborate a structure. Large poles mark off the center area which was the domain of the wife, it was her kitchen. At the far end of the lodge, opposite the entrance, is the family altar. This was the domain of the head man or elder of the household. Around the outer wall of the rest of the lodge is a two foot high ledge which was used for sitting on, and when covered with willow branches and buffalo hides, used for sleeping.
The Caddo, like the Wichita, were an agricultural tribe and also built more permanent homes than the roaming, hunting tribes. Here at Indian City, you see two of these homes and a large Council House, as well as a community work shelter with a meat drying rack. The Caddo built what is called a "wattle and daub" house. Timber form the walls and roof with spaces in between chinked with pieces of wood and brush finished off with a mixture of mud and brush for the outside and thick mud or adobe on the inside. Roofs are a combination of willow boughs and grass.
The tipi (sometimes spelled "teepee") was the traveling home of the Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho and other roaming plains Indian Tribes. Here at INDIAN CITY, the visitor sees a typical winter camp with two large tipis set up and a windbreak fence of willow branches and grass surrounding the camp. You will also see examples of the travois, the frame work used in transporting the teepee and its poles.
The most impressive of all the villages at Indian City is that of the Wichita, principally because of the 40 foot high Council house. This is the equivalent of four stories. The women did all of the building in the Wichita tribe, which makes their structures all the more impressive. Pine poles, split in half, were set in the ground in a circle and joined together at the top. This framework is covered with willow branches and then finally swamp grass to provide a completely weatherproof dwelling or Council house. The villiage also includes a community shelter where the women gathered to do their work and various racks used for drying meats, vegetables and buffalo skins.
Simple brush or grass-covered "wickiups" were home for the Chiricahua Apache, a roaming tribe of hunters. Indian City shows six examples of the "wickiup". One built large enough to walk through, the other nearer the actual crawl-in size of the originals. These were built to protect the brave's family from the sun and by throwing a few skins over the simple framework, it protected them from the rain. He lived and slept out in the open. One of the structures in the camp is the Apache's version of the steam bath. The men would huddle inside this tiny sweat "wickiup" steam lodge and throw water on the hot stones that had been heated on the fire outside.
The three houses in this village show two of the different methods used by the Navajo in building their homes. One of the hogans is constructed of pine logs laid horizontally in a circular criss-cross and in such a way that the hogan resembles a beehive. It is covered all over with a mixture of adobe clay. The other two houses represent the later method of building, one still used by the Navajos. In these, pine timbers are first set in the ground horizontally in a circle. The roof is then built onto this in much the same way as the earlier more simple hogan. An outdoor oven for baking bread can also be seen in the Navajo village.