Saturday, January 8, 2011

House No. 8: Dorze Home

House No. 8: Dorze Home
pencil & ink on repurposed 100% cotton rag cover stock
5.25 in. x 3.75 in.
008/365; 01/08/11

My house today is a drawing of a traditional house of the Dorze of the southern region of Ethiopia. Dorze houses are constructed with vertical bamboo poles and woven bamboo. The thatch is made of ensete plant, grass, and bamboo stem covering. 

The houses are very tall, some are up to forty feet high, and re-locatable. When chewed at the bottom by termites, the house is trimmed from the bottom and moved. The older the house, therefore, the shorter it is, and they can last from sixty to eighty years. 

The house is subdivided and contains a hearth, sleeping quarters and a place for livestock. I think that these houses are ingenious and fascinating. They are the original green, sustainable houses.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. sorry. blogger doesn't let you edit.
    what i meant to say was, this is fascinating stuff! where did you learn about this people group? will you be taking us to other cool countries during the rest of the year? peace, grow

  3. Hello, grow365!

    I think that I first learned of the Dorze people at the Brooklyn Museum of Art at an exhibit that they had around 2001. I don't even remember the name of the exhibition, but it dealt with cultural customs.

    I believe the Dorze were featured because of weaving, and I loved, but couldn't part with the amount of cash for, some fabric woven by the Dorze tribe that the museum was selling in their gift shop. It was beautiful and had that feeling of something crafted that has been worked by hands.

    I do hope to examine all types of homes this year, mostly for my own edification and exploration. It fascinates me what constitutes home for different people and creatures, and it helps me to discover my own feelings of home.

  4. These are beautiful as are you! Your connection to and inspiration from experiences is truly heartwarming and inspiring in itself :)

  5. It is amazing to have something made from sustainable materials that can last so long, yet modern office buildings are built expecting to be obsolete in 30 years and replaced. Then again who ever called a cubicle a home. ♥

  6. Thanks, Jenn. It seems like yesterday we were creating side by side in a shared studio, doesn't it?

    Hear, hear, Phil. Also, the cubicle (like malls) have fallen far from their initial concept. Check out the original Action Office System released by Herman Miller in 1968: How the concept has been corrupted!