The Tongva people lived
in tule thatched houses which were hemispherical, or shaped like
cones. They had an open smoke hole for ventilation and light
at the top. Some were 15 to 50 feet in diameter and could be
homes for one family or several depending on the size.
People hung tule mats in
the doorways to act as windscreens. The floors were bare dirt
but kept relatively clean. Since the winds were strong from the
north the doors were to the west.
The tule thatch was up
to 6 inches thick so this was good insulation for the cold winter
months. Where there were no thatching materials available they
used manzanita branches
They also made sweat houses
called temescales by the Spanish. They were made of wooden
branches covered with mud. These were used by the hunters before
they went out to hunt in order to hide their human scent, which
enabled them to sneak up on large animals more successfully.