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.

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