Thursday, September 11, 2014

Samoan Fales - by Zeke

Hey every body, as some of you might know I like architecture so I have written this blog piece about the houses which are lived in today by Samoan’s.  So as I hope you know it is hot, very hot in the tropics and the traditional houses that people live in are often open with very little walls to restrict air flow to try and keep them cool and airy. 

This big internal court yard of this house in Cartagena Columbia allows hot air to rise up out of the building

The houses or fales which the local Samoans live in are based on traditional houses which look like a Polynesian bandstand, raised off the ground and with open sides – i.e. no flipping walls!. One finds it kind of surprising when walking down the street, you pass a fale and suddenly see mum and dad lying in bed having a nap and kids on the floor watching TV! You can just see other peoples lives going on around you.

The traditional fales serve as both living and meeting places.

Modern fales are not too much different from the traditional ones. They do however have floors and columns made of cement and tin roofs. But they still serve the same purpose. Within the fales you see beds, TV's, stoves and couches. When it rains, so that your belongings are not ruined there are wide eaves and curtains that drop down between the supporting pillars to stop driving rain.

A mosquito net can be seen covering a bed in this modern version of a fale

A low fence surrounds this fale which I suspect is to keep out pigs which sometimes run free.

The flags decorating the front yard were put up in celebration of the Small Island Development States (SIDS) conference which was held here by the United Nations

Mum really liked the use of colour in this one.

Thanks a heap for reading this blog piece and I hope you enjoyed it. The house and churches here reflect so much about the culture, which the locals are very proud of. The pros about the fales are they are cheap and easy to build, cool and airy and reflect the traditional culture. The cons are that there is very little privacy and in strong winds the fales would feel quite open. These traditional type homes are still being lived in however there does seem to be a lot of new more modern and enclosed houses as well. Oh well, how destructive our wonderful western culture can be!

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