Hilger on wigwams
Originally published in 1939 by Catholic University of America Press.
Wigwams were seen on the White Earth Reservation in the summer of 1938, several of them being used by families included in this study. Two families were occupying one as a dwelling during the spring Midewiwin at Ponsford. Its framework, twelve by sixteen by six feet in height was of ironwood saplings and the roof was of birch bark. The traditional bulrush mats, however, had been replaced by old blankets and pieces of calico. Eight poles laid against the outside weighted down the bark. From the center of the roof a stove pipe protruded, and an old blanket served as a door. Skeletal frameworks of four other wigwams were found near homes. Three of these were in the wild-rice area near Rice Lake and were used by relatives of the owners during wild-rice season. It was interesting to note that all three, although entirely exposed to the weather, were used as storage places during the summer. Two were nearly filled with birchbark rolls and with implements used in wild-rice gathering and maple-sugar making; the third contained wash tubs and firewood. A fourth one...The wigwam was for her [a thirty-year-old woman] for her aged grandparents, a grandfather probably one hundred years old and a grandmother nearly that. They had complained so many times that they were uncomfortable in their tar-paper shack...Although bark wigwams were found on all Chippewa reservations visited, few were intended for all-year-round dwellings.
Sister M. Inez Hilger, Chippewa Families: A Social Study of White Earth Reservation, 1938 (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1998 reprint ed.) 34-35.