Home Forums Terrain and Scenery 18th c. Northeast Native American Longhouses…

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #132460
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    In about a month I intend to run another F&I scenario. The last game represented a French/Indian raid on an English homestead. The next game will be a reprisal raid on an Indian village. But, like always, this is just an excuse for me to build something. I wanted some longhouses, and I like scratch building. So….

    I cut end pieces for the longhouses out of heavy chipboard (it’s about 1/8 inch in thickness).

    I then used five ‘stretchers’ of the same cardboard to create a half-cylinder framework.

    This was ‘skinned’ with two layers of 110# cardstock. The wrinkles show the glue lines holding the skin together. The resulting structure is surprisingly sturdy.

    Longhouses were, apparently covered with bark (although I’ve seen a few references that say skins were used but I think that would be less common). I was briefly stumped as to how to represent the bark covering when I remember that years ago I had purchased some paper rope from a party supply store thinking that someday I’d find a use for it. Eureka!

    I cut a number of 3/4 inch sections of rope and using an old dental tool I was able to uncoil the paper into wrinkly 4 inch strips.

    I only had to exercise moderate care to keep from skewering my fingers with the dental tool. By working the point of the tool through the core of the short rope sections, it was not too difficult to open them up and unroll them.

    I then tore the 4 inch strips into smaller squarish pieces to represent the individual sections of bark.

    Here’s a not-quite-completed shot of one end of the longhouse after the ‘bark’ has been applied as one would shingle a surface and a coating of watered down PVA glue.

    Once all the surfaces have been ‘barked’ I’ll glue on the characteristic lattice work of saplings that would have historically been used to keep the bark attached to the longhouse framework. I haven’t decided what material to use for that. I keep eyeing our old bristle broom and my wife keeps saying “Don’t you do it!” Maybe using glue soaked string would be more politically correct in my home. We’ll see how this one plays out.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #132471
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Looking good. Here’s a live one that stands in Kispoko Village, in George Rogers Clark Park outside Springfield, Ohio.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #132472
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Very cool. I don’t know how you thought of unravelling paper sting but that stuff looks really good. It looks perfect for sampan sails too.

    Tired is enough.

    #132479
    Cacique CaribeCacique Caribe
    Participant

    Wow.  Impressive results!

    Dan
    Loads of WIPs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/with/72157710630529376

    #132481
    jeffersjeffers
    Participant

    Wow! With added exclamation mark… Looking forward to the finished article.

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    #132494
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks, guys. I have no idea where the paper rope inspiration came from. Sometimes I just wake up with ideas buzzing around in the ‘ole noggin.

    THANKS for that picture, Zippyfusenet. That is exactly what I was picturing in my head. Now that I can visually see it, though, it seems clear to me that using string rather than broom bristles seems the right way to go. Domestic tranquillity is re-established. Oddly enough, I grew up not more than 10 miles from that park. Perhaps the first re-enactment event I ever attended was the ‘Siege of Fort Liberty’ held there 1980-ish. I’ve not been back since. The long house wasn’t there back then.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #132501
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Perhaps the first re-enactment event I ever attended was the ‘Siege of Fort Liberty’ held there 1980-ish. I’ve not been back since.

    Small world, hainna? You should come for The Fair At New Boston this year, it’s grown into quite a show:

    https://www.fairatnewboston.org/

    Kispoko Village is worth visiting in any season. It’s an experimental archaeology project where many types of Native American lodges have been built. Here’s an interior shot of the longhouse:

    Here’s a late 18th century style Shawnee cabin:

    A wigwam:

    Kispoko is livelier during the Fair:

    And you’ll have a chance to talk with Justin Houston, the architect and project lead of Kispoko. He’s a gentleman, a scholar and a showman:

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #132508
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Very cool. None of that was there back in the day. Is that a beehive in the background of the wigwam? And the thatched roofed structure… what’s that?

    I’m looking for other things to deck out my Indian village. Anybody have ideas on what would be found in a typical Iroquois or Algonquian  settlement? Besides an outside palisade and surrounding maize/bean/squash fields, that is. Would they cut and stack wood? Stretch hides… or scalps? Some sort of granary structures for dried maize? Any ceremonial poles used in the Northeast?

    The Fair sounds fun, but I don’t know that I’ll ever get back to Ohio.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #132512
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the pix. I worried that I’d hijacked your thread. Since you encourage me, I’ll carry on. I’m no expert of course, but I’ll share what I have.

    There’s no signage at Kispoko, so sometimes we have to guess. I don’t think this is a beehive – honey bees aren’t native to North America, they were brought over from Europe. My best guess is that this is a smoker. Someone built a small fire in the bottom of the structure, and the top part looks smokey on the inside. Maybe it was an experiment, the top part couldn’t hold more than a few pounds of meat.

    Justin Houston told me that the thatch-roofed building with vertical log walls is Cherokee traditional architecture. It looks different than the buildings I saw at Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee North Carolina. I’ll take Justin’s word, I’m not familiar.

    Here’s an open-front booth that seems too open to live in. I expect it’s to sit in and do craft work in good weather. That’s what  people were doing in structures like this at Oconaluftee. I think open-sided arbors, roofed with leafy branches for shade were also common village structures, probably every household had one or two:

    I know that the Creek Indians farther south built above-ground granaries, but I don’t know about any north of the Ohio River or in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence region. I’ve read that people in the Ohio country often stored corn in underground pits. People in the Ohio country usually left their villages after the fall harvest, to go on the winter hunt in family groups, so it was wise to secure the corn in a pit under a big rock.

    In Osage Indian Customs and Myths, Louis F. Burns wrote something I’ve long suspected: that Indians usually gathered deadfall for firewood, and rarely cut or chopped wood. Burns wrote specifically about the Osage, but I have noted many accounts of Indian women and children gathering wood, and none of wood-cutting, so I think the practice was general. In this well-known Karl Bodmer painting Sioux Camp, there’s a low pile of brushwood in  front of the rightmost tipi, and I think that’s the woodpile:

    I made a couple of Indian woodpiles, out of scraps of grape stem. You could use any twigs you have handy. Grape stem is lovely, organic, woody, fractal-looking stuff. It’s not very robust, but if some pieces break off, no problem, I eat another bag of grapes and glue on some more stem. Behind the woodpiles is a section of abatis that I’ve built from grape stem.

    Here’s some other bric-a-brac I use to decorate Indian camps and villages. The stretched hides and cooking gear are all from the 1/72 Imex Eastern Friendly Indian, Lewis and Clark and Pioneer sets. They’re theoretically a bit small for 28mm models, but really, they look fine. Besides the camp items, I pillage the Imex sets for figures I can use in my 28mm collection as teenagers and children. Also, a couple of  the sets have plastic tipis and wigwams that are too small for their nominal 1/72 scale, but great for 15mm:

    Here are a few more pix from Kispoko. It’s an experimental archaeology project, and probably not all the experiments succeed. Here’s a stretch of wicker fence that someone experimented with. It doesn’t seem to fence anything in particular. I don’t know why anything in an Indian village would be fenced:

    This structure with wicker walls and bark roof looks like a pen for animals, maybe a chicken coop. Pre-contact Indians kept no domestic animals besides dogs, but some native people learned to keep livestock:

    Someone carved this turtle into a tree at Kispoko. Woodwork sculpture is a deep tradition in the woodlands. Might be hard to represent in 28mm, though:

    That’s all I have for now. Best regards.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #132803
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    A couple of in-progress shots of the longhouses. I’ve been working on two of them. The first shot shows one of them totally ‘barked’ with the bare cotton cording to represent the saplings along the outside. This one is currently drying after a coating of 50/50 PVA/Water to stiffen things up and seal everything down.  The second shot shows the beginning stages of painting. Finally, a shot of the twin longhouses.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #132811
    jeffersjeffers
    Participant

    Superb bit of work. Very effective.

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    #132846
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks. This has been a fun project. I always have more time than money to spend on hobbies and over the last couple of projects I’ve convinced myself that I can build from scratch to the level of commercially available stuff. In fact, these two longhouses were built entirely from material I had on-hand. It’s all card stock, paper, string, glue, paint and varnish. And… I’m happy with them. The only issue that may come into play is that the long edges have curved a bit. Probably due to the shrinking of all the glue, I think. For these, though, that won’t matter. But I’ll need to keep that in mind for more standardized structures. I guess you can never have too much internal support.

    Here are the finished longhouses (though I may add some hides as door coverings):

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #132848
    Andrew BeasleyAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    That is a great result.

    I’ve tried using crepe paper for wood but the result did not come close to yours – it tended to flatten under the glue and split like anything when wet.

    #132859
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Those came out great. The weathering on the roofs is something many models are missing. (I should touch mine up. Henh.) Nice set of villagers, too.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #133015
    Cacique CaribeCacique Caribe
    Participant

    Wow! Stunning results!

    Dan
    Loads of WIPs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/with/72157710630529376

    #133838
    trenchfoottrenchfoot
    Participant

    That is seriously beautiful workmanship. Making wargames terrain and scenery need not be expensive if you can see the potential in everyday items. Well done.

     

    #133975
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thank you, gentlemen. I have been amiss in acknowledging your comments. They are greatly appreciated. Of course, my motivating factor was to hold another game and that is now on indefinite hold. More time to build and paint, I suppose.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.