Home is a shelter from storms – all sorts of storms.
~William J. Bennett
In December, while learning more about voluntary no-contact indigenous groups after an amazing Skype with Ashli and Zoe, we discovered that some indigenous groups build their houses high up in the canopy of rainforest trees! It’s funny how one question can lead to another … and another … and ANOTHER!
Because SO many of us were intrigued with these houses perched high above the ground, we HAD to learn more about where people live in the world! Here are some of our RECENT discoveries. We are CERTAIN that this investigation will lead to MANY more questions about the world … that’s what we LOVE about the LEARNING process!
“Wow! Along the Amazon River houses are built on poles. I wonder how they do that? It makes their homes safe from the floods in the rainy season!” ~Sam
“Wow! We didn’t even know that was possible! Clay and straw houses?!? How can that be? In Gaza they build brick houses out of clay, straw and water. It’s amazing! They dig the clay where they are building the houses right out of the ground beside it. These sandy brown clay bricks are super strong and flexible which makes them more stable during earthquakes. Did you know that the bricks keep hoes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer? These houses are sure different than the ones in Canada!” ~Lane & Amy
“Hey, did you know that our class is studying about interesting houses around the world??? Well, we are studying about cave houses! Did you know people have been hollowing out caves to make homes for many thousands of years? People still do it today. Some ancient cave homes are hidden throughout the world. Cave houses are naturally quiet. Oh my gosh did you guys know that cave houses have constant temperature? They are cool in summer and warm in winter! Did you also know cave houses are not available anywhere but in the mountains? Hey! Read THIS interesting fact! Cave houses are also found in France, China, Italy, Turkey, Tunisia, Spain, Jordan, Australia and the United Kingdom? Are you getting hot? Well, did you know that there can be pools in cave houses? Do you want to see what a cave house is like? Well you can, at Cave Hotel … trust us … it’s awesome! In China, during the war, lots of people lived in cave houses because their houses got destroyed. In China millions of people still live in cave houses. Sometimes they even live in underground caves. Cave houses are different from your house of course! Cave houses are hard to spot but you are lucky if you have spotted one! If you want to learn more about cave houses search cave houses. We had the BEST time researching!” ~ Kennedy & Kelly
“Hey, Aya and Hilary, did you know that Spain has underground houses? They make most of their furniture out of anything they can find. They mostly use wood and rocks. Their underground houses are built right in the earth. They have stairs that go right down to their underground houses. The floor is made out of stone and dirt. They use dirt for the walls. They mix water and dirt to make their own clay. We hope we can do this again!” ~ Jenna, Hilary & Aya
“The houses we researched were the Hakka houses in China. The hakka people used hard soil for the building materials. There is also a building called a tulou. It is usually a large enclosed building. The outer walls have gun holes for defensive purposes. Most of the houses are circular but some of the houses are square. Usually the outer wall on the ground floor does not have windows! You can find the Hakka houses in Fujian China. We hope we can search for more interesting facts from the Hukkas.” ~ Peng Peng, Alex & Isaac
“Tip, tap, Daniel typed on the keyboard. Hey, Kale, I can’t find any good information. Kale, did you know that there are schools on the floating Peruvian Islands? We searched a different website and it said you could eat the reeds! We told Mrs. Renton that you could eat the reeds and she said maybe you could have a nibble of your house, since the whole entire islands are made out of reeds! On Wikipedia it said they made their island on the water because it would give them protection! I forgot to tell you that these islands are in Peru on Lake Titicaca! The tribe who lives on the floating reed islands are called the Uru. There are ropes attached to sticks and the sticks are driven into the island and the bottom of the lake. Mrs. Renton thought it was so the islands wouldn’t move. It was fun researching!” ~Daniel & Kale
“I wonder why the Incas expanded their land? The Urus were forced to live on the reed islands. Did you know that there are 35 floating islands on Lake Titicaca? Isn’t it cool that the roofs are waterproof? They hunt fish and shore ducks. The largest floating reed island is currently Tribuna. When the layers rot … they have to replace new layers. Did you know that the reeds are called totora? The people wear wool so their skin won’t burn because they are at a high altitude. They put down rocks for a fire. Did you know that there are homes for 2000 Urus living on the islands? I wish we could know more about why the Incas expanded their land.” ~Zyne, Ethan & Martin
“Tap, tap, tap went the keyboard. Let’s look up stilt wooden houses of the Miao tribe! The stilt houses are made out of wood. The Miao folks live in a high cold mountain area which is wet. Wooden stilt houses are also known as suspended wood houses. Most people in the areas of Greenwich live in wooden stilt houses. Wooden stilt houses are thought of as living fossils because they show the history of the Miao culture for over many years. Each storey has three to five rooms. The upper layer is used to store stuff.” ~Cohen & Melvin
“Hey, Noam, did you know that in the 1400s in England they built their houses out of poop, (animal manure LR), and straw? Really! I didn’t know that! Then, England caught on fire so they decided that they would build their houses out of stone! Did you know that in England they also live in cave houses? You can find cave houses in the UK, France, China, Spain, Iran, Missouri, Australia, Arizona, Galera, Cappadocia, Vourvoulos, Turkey and many more countries! Cave houses are usually old! I hope we can research MORE!” ~Noam & Claire
We know that THESE interesting houses are only the TIP of the iceberg! There are MANY more interesting houses around the world. We’ve discovered that people are AMAZING! SO many cultures build with the materials they have at hand … the materials they find freely around the areas they build in. Ross Mannell told us about the underground houses in the outback of Australia! We learned a little about Petra, Jordan and the underground buildings in Lalibela, Ethiopia! But, as with ANY good learning, we still have SO many questions! We hope you can help us to discover even MORE about our amazing world:
- have you ever visited any of these amazing homes?
- what was it like?
- have you visited or learned about any OTHER interesting houses that you think we should investigate?
Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.
~ Mikhail Gorbachev