The Cherokee Indians lived in villages. They built circular homes made of river cane, sticks, and plaster. They covered the roofs with thatch and left a small hole in the center to let the smoke out.
The typical Cherokee town consisted of 30 to 60 houses and a large council house. They built permanent, well-organized villages in the midst of extensive cornfields and gardens throughout the fertile river valleys of the Cherokee country.
After European contact, the most typical structure was a small, rectangular building that resembled a log cabin and was, indeed, modeled on white pioneer designs. Theda Perdue describes the winter houses ( “asi” ) in The Cherokees (NY: Chelsea House, 1989) as “small, round, wattle-and-daub structures.
The Cherokee lived in wattle and daub homes. These homes were framed with tree logs and then covered with mud and grass to fill in the walls. The roofs were made of thatch or bark.
They were made of tree branches bent into a circular shape and then plastered with mud (the frame was a lot like the frame of a Ute wickiup, but these were different because they were covered with mud and partly sunk into the ground like Pueblo pit houses).
The Plains Indians typically lived in one of the most well known shelters, the tepee (also tipi or teepee). The tepee had many purposes, one of which was mobility and agility as the Plains Indians needed to move quickly when the herds of bison were on the move.
In the Southeast region, Native Americans lived in Wattle and Daub houses. These houses were made by weaving river cane and wood into a frame. The roofs were made of grass and bark. Wattle and Daub houses were permanent structures, perfect for farming people.
The Cherokee were southeastern woodland Indians, and in the winter they lived in houses made of woven saplings, plastered with mud and roofed with poplar bark. In the summer they lived in open-air dwellings roofed with bark. Today the Cherokee live in ranch houses, apartments, and trailers.
The names of the tribes who lived in the Wattle and Daub style houses included the Seminole, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee people. The tribes lived in the regions of the present-day states of Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama and wanted permanent homes to suit their farmer-hunter life styles.
Most Cherokees were forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1800’s along the Trail of Tears. Descendants of the Cherokee Indians who survived this death march still live in Oklahoma today. The descendants of these people live scattered throughout the original Cherokee Indian homelands.