The earth-lodge, of heavy wooden timbers covered with sod, was the typical Otoe dwelling of the permanent villages. The skin tipi was used during the hunting season. Ceremonial lodges, larger than but otherwise similar to the earth-lodges, were erected. Menstrual houses were kept well apart from other lodges. Hemispherical sudatory huts were made of arched sticks thrust into the ground and covered with hides.
The Otoe raised corn, pumpkins, and beans, and gathered nuts, berries, and the products of such other wild growths as the turnip and sweet-potato. The buffalo was the most important meat-producing animal.