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Temporary dome-shaped winter home or hunting-ground dwelling of Canadian and Greenland Inuit (Eskimos), made from blocks of snow. The builder chooses a deep snowdrift of fine-grained, compact snow and cuts it into blocks. After a row of blocks has been laid in a circle, their top surfaces are shaved off in a sloping angle to form the first rung of a spiral. Additional blocks are added to the spiral to draw it inward until a dome is completed, leaving a ventilation hole at the top.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on igloo, visit Britannica.com.