Dorze hut

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Dorze hut

The Dorze people live by farming and are very hardworking. They live in populous villages and are renowned for the excellent quality of the clothes, rugs and blankets they weave from cotton. They do not only weave textile but also their houses, a technique handed down from father to son. 

Bamboo or hardwood poles are interwoven with split bamboo canes to form a structure which is then stuffed with grass to insulate it and covered with wild banana leaves. The floors are made of clay which is refined with a mixture of water and dung. The huts take 1-3 weeks to complete. The buildings have bases 5-8 metres in diameter are built as high as possible and so are typically 6-8 metres high, but can even reach up to 12 metres. When the base of the hut begins to rot or is attacked by termites, the structure is simply cut free from the base and a couple of strong men carry it to a new site. A new covering is usually made for the house at this time. The stable structures can last up to 80 years, and a new hut only has to be built when the old one has become uncomfortably low.

The huts are surprisingly spacious inside: screen like walls divide the sleeping quarters from the communal area, and chairs are ranged around a fireplace in the centre.