Igloo (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Igloos were the main dwelling structures of central Arctic tribes
Igloos, found mostly in the central Arctic, were hemispherical structures of varying size made of wind-compacted snow. Blocks were cut with bone or baleen knives. When placed one atop another in an inclined plane, each course of snow blocks decreased in circumference until the very top, which was completed with a capblock. Additional insulation was provided by shoveling loose snow atop the completed structure. A window for light was made of ice. It normally took two men three hours to build such a structure.
The domoid igloo was divided into a living/cooking area and raised sleeping platform. The entrance tunnel sump was always lowest, so that entering cold air was warmed and then exited through a small opening over the sleeping area. It was important that the insulation effect not be reduced by the interior becoming too warm and the ice melting. Igloo size varied from accommodation for an extended family to a large ceremonial structure. On occasion, individual igloos situated at productive resource areas, particularly ice-sealing sites, were joined by tunnels.
(The entire section is 185 words.)
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