wigwam (wĭgˈwäm) [key], dwelling found among the Algonquian of the Eastern woodlands area of the United States. The wigwam was usually conical, arborlike, or domed. Some were small, accommodating a single family; others were large communal dwellings. They were covered with squares of bark, with reed mats, or with thatch. Sometimes the word is incorrectly extended to almost all Native North American dwellings including the earth lodge and sometimes even the tepee and the wickiup.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.