Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tied to the Land

Traditional homes on Jeju Island are constructed of black volcanic stones, held together and sealed with a mixture of dried mud and straw. The roof is of thatch and is tied firmly into place to protect against the fierce winds that lash the island in just about every season. A friend, whose family lived in a thatched house such as this, told me that the job of thatching had to be performed yearly, with members of the family alll coming together to take part in the highly ritualized work. Needless to say, however, homes such as this one near the western end of the island are becoming rare as the population moves into the island's two major cities, where vast Seoul-style apartment complexes are altering (read:erasing) the landscape.

1 comment:

G said...

Yeah, it seems like every year there are fewer of these left. Soon, they will all be in the "traditional villages" for the tourists.

That having been said, I wouldn't really want to live in one, so I can understand the move away from them. It's just too bad that they have to be replaced by huge apartment complexes like you said, and not something a bit less intimidating.