Traditional societies from which the Seminole arose lived in settled towns amid agricultural lands. Those towns had a Central plaza or meeting place faced on four sides with housing, religious, and political buildings. After the Seminoles were driven into the peninsula and their population decreased, the towns became little more than clusters of camps. The camps usually contained living quarters with cooking and storage areas for extended families. Aboriginal buildings were of wattle and daub construction with thatched roofs, and summer structures were without walls to let air circulate. The Seminole continued the settlement patterns and building types when they could, but as they moved into tropical regions, they left off the sides and added a platform about thirty inches above the swampy ground. This structure of poles and thatched roof is called a "chickee" (the accent falls on the last syllable).