‘Ig-a-loo’ Provided Eskimo
Motel Or Home
As we try to keep our homes warm during the winter months of the year, we might give some thought to the “ig-a-loo”, or igloo, once used by the Eskimos.
Some Eskimos were true nomads. They often moved every day, stopping sometime in the afternoon to build a snow house just to use for a night or two. When they moved on, the work was abandoned.
Occasionally, they would come across a previously abandoned igloo of some other wandering family or small group and didn’t hesitate to put it to use.
The “ig-a-loo” some groups built for winter-time use was a more permanent structure and would house the intended family all winter long. It was built under the snow pack - so it was in the snow, but yet below surface level.
It was entered by an underground passage, which could be as long a 15 feet. The small opening to this passage was protected by a shifting board that could regulate drafts.
In the living quarters there was a sitting area of a raised platform around the edge. Sleeping was done both on top of and under the platform.
Cooking was done over a fire in the center of the room. A small pipe in the center carried off smoke or foul air to the surface above. When necessary, women used geese wing fans to force in fresh air.
These homes beneath the snow gave complete protection from the gales and shifting snow outside. It certainly also promoted family togetherness in an extreme fashion!
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