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Interior of a Lenape Barkhouse - T
his illustration shows a Lenape family inside their barkhouse. A fire for cooking and to provide warmth is burning in a pit in the center of the floor. Decorative mats affixed to the walls offered a measure of insulation. Smoke escaped through openings in the roof which could be covered in time of rain. Braided ears of corn and herbs were hung from the ceiling, and dried foods were stored below sleeping platforms and on shelves over beds. Firewood was usually stored in a compartment at the end of the house to keep it dry and ready for use. Large storage pits were also dug into the earth at the ends of such houses to provide additional food storage, especially in winter when outside storage pits might be snowed over.
Illustration courtesy of Herbert C.and John T. Kraft
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