Seminole Indians and other South Eastern tribes lived in a home called a Chickee. A chickee was a house built on stilts usually about three or four feet above the ground. A chickee was usually about nine feet wide and sixteen feet long, with a wooden platform which served as the floor and a thatched roof.
Nearly everything used to build a chickee came from the palmetto tree which was a kind of palm tree common in the southeastern United States.
The Seminole Indians lived in Chickees because of the swampy conditions that existed in the Everglades of Florida where many Seminole lived.
The Seminole built their homes on higher ground in the swampland. In the center of the village was the Great House. The Great House was made up of four low, bark-covered houses build around a square courtyard. Each house was assigned to a warrior who helped the chief. Meetings were held in the Great House.
A round Council House was built on higher ground near one corner of the Great House. The chief and warriors met in the Council to make decisions.
One large house in each village was used as the cook house. It had a raised floor which covered half of the building. Walls made of bark were built underneath the floor for a safe, cool room to store food. The roof was high so that fires could be kept burning at all times.
Families lived in homes called chickees. The chickees had no outside or inside walls. The house was made by driving big logs into the ground between posts. The floor was made of long poles covered with cypress bark and palm leaves.
The roof was made of poles covered with bark and leaves. The roof sloped down on each side from the center. A ladder was used for climbing up to the floor. Fires were built outside the house.