|Alaska Native Housing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: The Tree-Ring Circus (FTMALacad3.alaska.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 9 Dec 92 17:34 CST|
Hi ho! I'm Mike Lewis a PhD student in anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I'm not living in a cohousing arrangement as yet, but I am interested for several reasons. Temperatures in Fairbanks range from 40-50 below zero this time of year to the 80's above in the summer. "Traditional" single family housing doesn't make a lot of sense in this kind of climate, from the standpoint of energy and physical resource use. If there is anyplace that is ideally suited to cooperative housing, it's Fairbanks! As a student of anthropology, I've learned a bit about lifestyles of the native peple who lived throughout this land before we took it away from them. Though their have changed considerably in recent years, their traditional beliefs and lifestyles remain, at least in some form. An important, even central, part of the success of Native people in this harsh landscape is their sense of community. Even among those Native Alaskans living in Anchorage and Fairbanks, community is an essential part of their lives. For those still living traditional village lifestyles, little has changed in this respect for the last 10,000 years. An important feature of Native villages was and is the kasgi, or "men's house." Although this structure has been identified as a ceremonial house for male-based clan activities, in reality it functioned as the center of activity for the entire village. Ceremonies, dances, potlatches, community sweats, all were held in the Kasgi, as well as instruction of male children, qayaq and umiak building, net weaving, and other activities associated with subsistence. This seems as good a model as any on which to base a cohousing arrangement in the Arctic. Housing designed to share insulation and heating facilities, coupled with modern technologies of cold-weather house design, should result in housing that is affordable, cheaper to heat and offers a sense of community so necessay to mental and spiritual survival in this cold, dark land. (We have four hours of daylight right now. This noon, the sun just barely made it all the way above the horizon!) I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any experiences with cohousing in the far north, or knows of any references. Thanks! This looks like a great group! Mike Lewis Chugiak, Alaska
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.