We want to show you the influence of the geographical position of a country on houses.
The grasslands continue as far as the eye can see. White specks dot the landscape here and there. As you get closer, you can see that these specks are actually houses. These are yurts (or gers), the portable, folding homes of people who live as herders of sheep and horses. Yurts are set up in places where water is easy to get, and where there is grass for the horses and sheep to eat. The air is very dry in Mongolia.
Deep in the mountains, there is a round earthen building called a tulou. It is surrounded by a thick dirt wall. It looks as if a huge flying saucer has landed. It is in the Fujian province of China. There are as many as three hundred people living in this tulou. Entering through the gate in the wall, you will find it is very lively inside. Take a few steps, and here and there you will hear people calling to you to stop for tea. In the middle is the hall for ancestor worship. Looking up, you can see a round circle of sky.
These houses on Sumba Island, Indonesia are made from bamboo and grass. Livestock, such as water buffalo and pigs, live under the raised floor, and the people live above. The pointed part of the roof is where the gods are said to live.
The wind blows through here. Shortly after noon, the wind from the ocean in the south comes blowing through this area towards the desert in the north. This house is in the Kutch region of India. Its roof is firmly tied down with rope so that it does not blow away in the wind. The grass roof and the earthen walls block the heat outside. The women draw designs on the outside walls. The inside of the house is also elaborately decorated.
This village is in a clearing by a forest full of fir and oak in the Maramures region of Romania. Here, even the roofs of the houses are made of wooden shingles. As you walk through the village, youll feel as if someone is always watching you. It is the eyes on the roofs of the houses. The openings look just like human eyes complete with eyelids, but are actually holes to let smoke escape.
If you climb a small hill and look down at the village of Matmata, you might notice there are many holes that look like craters on the moon. These holes are actually houses. The bottoms of the holes are the courtyards of the houses, and the holes dug off to the sides of the courtyards are rooms.
Many white chimneys spring out of the ground! If you climb up the hill that it is coming out of. Youll feel as if your footsteps are echoing underground. When you walk softly down the other side of the hill, youll find the entrance to a house. These underground houses are in Gaudix, Spain.
The house in the center of the village collects rainwater inside the home to use as drinking water. This is because even when wells are dug, the water is salty. These houses are in the Casamance region of Senegal, Africa.
The Chipaya people live on a plateau in the Andes at an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level. If you listen carefully, you can hear the faint sound of a stream. White crystallized salt rises to float on the surface of the damp earth near the stream. There is a grass that grows in this earth where there is so much salt. Sheep and llamas eat this grass. The Chipaya people cut blocks out of this root-bound earth and stack them to build their acorn-shaped houses.