Chilean traditional houses

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pinguin
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Chilean traditional houses

Post by pinguin » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:56 pm

Read somewhere in this forum
Dodo bird wrote:the Spanish left behind puebluchos like Bolivia, Perú, and Chile. And as Mario Vargas Llosa reminds us, these backwaters were kept from remaining forever in their mud huts and rucas only by the waves of European immigration
Well, that's really an insult. First, let's us remember that Vargas Llosa is a right winger with Cipayo attitudes. But anyways, he is wrong if compared huts with rucas. A hut is an improvised house to stand bad weather. A ruca is a wooden house made to last several winters, with its own rustic but interesting architecture.
This gave me an idea. We should talk about houses in Chile, from old and modern times. An what better than start with the rucas: the clan houses of the Mapuche natives.

Rucas

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What means a ruca:


In English:

1. Built a ruca is a great event that requieres the help of relatives and friends.
2. All work for free and with great enthusiasm; when the work is done, they host gaves them a great brotherhood party and thanks (called "minga" or "mingaco") in which there isn't lack of food, barbecue and fermented corn.
3. The ruca is round with a conic roof and simple structure. The bigger are 15 mt long by 10 mt wide.


In Spanish:

1. Construir una ruca es todo un acontecimiento y requiere de la ayuda de parientes y vecinos.
2. Todos trabajan gratis y con mucho entusiasmo; al terminar la obra, son retribuidos con una gran fiesta de hermandad y gratitud (minga o mingaco) en la que no falta comida, asado y chicha.
3. La ruca primitivamente era redonda, con techo cónico y de estructura simple. Las más espaiosas miden 15 M de largo por 10 M de ancho.



In Mapudungun:

1. Fütra afmafal dangu ta demangeken meu ta ruka, duamngekei kellual ta pu kiñe lof che, ka priente.
2. Kom kellupelu, kullingekelai, ayüwün kelluwkeingün, dewün meu küdau, mañumtun mülekei, ayekan peñiwen dungu rume mañumuwün (minga o mingako pingekei) fentren iyael mülekei, asau ka chicha.
3. Kuifi ruka yem may allwe monkol klekei, wenu ta ka felekakei, küdaungekelai tañi deumangeam. Alutuwkei ka fütrarupakei, 15 metro tuwkei ka 10 metro rupan ngekei.

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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by admin » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:46 am

The Ruka strikes me as terribly uncomfortable from what I have seen. Rather suprisingly so considering the wet environment they developed in. On the other hand, I always thought the Tipi was a rather absurd type of house for an area where the wind blows all the time, it snows, and it drops below freezing.

Guess if the customer is happy with it, more power to them.
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oregon woodsmoke
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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by oregon woodsmoke » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:33 pm

That's interesting. It looks like a Polynesian long house.

Thatch sheds rain quite well, so I would expect that house to be water proof, and the fluffy grass would provide insulation.

Are thatched roofs used in Chile? They are fairly common in Uruguay, and they get noticeable rain in the winter there.

pinguin
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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by pinguin » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:01 pm

In fact, they are waterproof.
By the way, Rucas are mainly for sleeping. In any case, the social life goes around the central fire. More info on Rucas.

Source:
http://kcreative.wordpress.com/tag/mapuche/
House

The traditional house, ruka, has a single door, open towards the east, an orientation which expresses the cosmological preference of the Mapuche for Puelmapu (Land of the East), where the deities reside. The ruka has no windows. Inside, the sleeping place is by the internal wall while in the center lies the kutral, or open hearth.

Soot blackens the wall and smoke floods the Mapuche home coming out through the güllonruka, two openings on each side of the gables. In the interior there is space to store food and there are many domestic artifacts, which hang from the ceiling and wall. The most characteristic artifacts are:

– The wenku (bench), a small settle carved from a solid block of wood.
- The witral, or loom, is placed near the ruka entry. During the bad weather the witral is used indoors, and outdoors with good weather.

The smoke and the grease from cooking turn the ruka water proof, sealing the straw-made roof and, even, forming stalactites of soot. The fire is permanently lit in the center. The construction of the ruka was celebrated with the rukatun, a house building ritual with dancers wearing wooden masks known as kollón.

pinguin
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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by pinguin » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:47 pm

Another traditional house is the Aymara and Quechua houses of Northern Chile, parts of Peru and Bolivia.

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Mamiña, Chile
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The houses typical house is made of mud-brick in a rectangular plant and thatch roof. Its origin is pre-Colombian. Curiously, the Spaniards also build in mud-brick most of theirs houses and buildings.

pinguin
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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by pinguin » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:17 am

Another interesting house are the boat-houses of Easter Island. Curiously, some of the more valuable archeology of Chile is in the island rather than in the continent.

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A boat house was a hut with stone foundations. One of the curiousities of this house was the size. They were very small and people couldn't stand on them.

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pinguin
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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by pinguin » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:09 pm

Colonial and countryside houses that remain in Chile.

The standard Chilean house from central Chile, during colonial times and up to the middle of the 20th century, was made of mud-bricks. That was the standard material for poor and rich peoples. Mud-brick exited in the Americas before the Spaniards, but the building style and techniques were imported from Spain as well. Spain was at those times a country made in mud-bricks, with a style of houses shared all over the mediterranean, from Greece to Morocco and Italy to Portugal. That was the style imported to the Americas.
The Chilean house has red ceramic tyles, thick and tall walls made of mud-bricks, and usually has corridors and an interior fountain, moorish style.

An example of a upper class colonial house for a city can be found downtown Santiago. The Casa Colorada, made of stone and mud-bricks

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Chilean authentic country houses

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pinguin
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Re: Chilean traditional houses

Post by pinguin » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:51 am

The first form of condo in Chile was the "conventillo" (little convent). This was a very common urban architecture during the 19th and early 20th century. Those were places that gave cheap rent to the poor workers that crowded the cities at those years. There are still many remaining, particularly at the old parts of the main cities.
The conventillo was basically a u shaped building of contiguous very small houses, with an interior and common patio. This style wasn't only Chilean and they were seen all over Latin America.

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In Santiago, you can still find conventillos.

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