Ojibwa - Settlements



The prehistoric and early historic Ojibwa maintained semipermanent villages for summer use and temporary camps during the remainder of the year, as they moved to exploit fish, game, and wild plant resources. This pattern of seasonal settlement and movement persisted to some extent among all the Ojibwa groups, but especially so among the nineteenth-century Southeastern Ojibwa and Southwestern Chippewa, who in their seasonal round returned each summer to Permanent village bases to plant gardens. The typical dwelling of the early Southeastern Ojibwa was the traditional conical hide-covered lodge, but as they adopted farming and a more settled way of life, log cabins and wood frame houses came into widespread use. Among the Southwestern Chippewa the most common dwelling was a dome-shaped wigwam covered with birchbark and cattail matting. The Northern Ojibwa spent much of their year moving in dispersed groups in search of subsistence, but during the summer they congregated at fishing sites in close proximity to trading posts, where they procured their supplies for the coming year. Their basic dwelling was a conical or ridge pole lodge covered with birch and birchbark. A high degree of mobility also characterized the Plains Ojibwa, who adopted bison-skin tipis and a pattern of seasonal movement involving concentration on the open plains in the summer to harvest the bison herds.

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