A longhouse or long house is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building built by peoples in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America.
Many were built from timber and often represent the earliest form of permanent structure in many cultures. Types include the Neolithic long house of Europe, the stone Medieval Dartmoor longhouse which also housed livestock, and the various types of longhouses built by different cultures among the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Some of the medieval longhouse types of Europe which some have survived are, among others:
Further developments of the Germanic longhouse during the Middle Ages were the Low German house in the North and especially Northwest Germany and its northern neighbor, the Geestharden house in Jutland including Schleswig, with its variant, the Frisian house. With these house types the wooden posts originally rammed into the ground were replaced by posts supported on a base. The large and well-supported attic enabled large quantities of hay or grain to be stored in dry conditions. This development may have been driven because the weather became wetter over time. Good examples of these houses have been preserved, some dating back to the 16th century. The longhouse was 50 to 60 feet long.
In North America two groups of longhouses emerged: the Native American/First Nations longhouse of the tribes usually connected with the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) in the northeast, and a similarly shaped structure which arose independently among the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
The longhouses inhabited by the Iroquois were wood boards/bark-covered structures of standardized design "in the shape of an arbor" about 6 to 7 metres (20 to 23 ft) wide providing shelter for several related families. The longhouse had a 3 metres (9.8 ft)-wide central aisle and 2 metres (6.6 ft)-wide compartments, about 6 to 7 metres (20 to 23 ft) long, down each side. The end compartments were usually used for storage. Hearths were spaced about 6 to 7 metres (20 to 23 ft) apart down the aisle, with smoke holes in the roof. Two families shared each hearth. Each longhouse would house several generations of an extended family; a house was built proportionately to the number of families it was expected to contain and might be lengthened over time to accommodate growth. It is possible to infer the population of an Iroquois town from the size and number of longhouses it contained.
In South America, the Tucano people of Colombia and northwest Brazil traditionally combine a household in a single long house. The Xingu peoples of central Brazil build a series of longhouses in circular formations forming round villages. The ancient Tupi people of the Brazilian coast used to do this as well. The Yanomami people of Brazil and Venezuela build a round hut with a thatched roof that has a hole in the middle, called shabono, which could be considered a sort of longhouse.
In Daepyeong, an archaeological site of the Mumun pottery period in Korea, longhouses have been found that date to circa 1100-850 B.C. Their layout seems to be similar to those of the Iroquois. In these, several fireplaces were arranged along the longitudinal axis of the building. Later, the ancient Koreans started raising their buildings on stilts, so that the inner partitions and arrangements are somewhat obscure. The size of the buildings and their placement within the settlements may point to buildings for the nobles of their society or some sort of community or religious buildings. In Igeum-dong, an excavation site in South Korea, the large longhouses, 29 and 26 meters long, are situated between the megalithic cemetery and the rest of the settlement.
The longhouse may be an old building tradition among the people of Austronesian origin or intensive contact. The Austronesian language group seems to have spread to south east Asia and the Pacific islands as well as Madagascar from the island of Taiwan. Groups like the Siraya of ancient Taiwan built longhouses and practiced head hunting, as did, for example the later Dayaks of Borneo.
Many of the inhabitants of the Southeast Asian island of Borneo (now Kalimantan, Indonesia and States of Sarawak and Sabah, Malaysia), the Dayak, live traditionally in buildings known as longhouses, Rumah betang in Indonesia Malay or rumah panjai in Iban. Common to most of these is that they are built raised off the ground on stilts and are divided into a more or less public area along one side and a row of private living quarters lined along the other side. This seems to have been the way of building best accustomed to life in the jungle in the past, as otherwise hardly related people have come to build their dwellings in similar ways. One may observe similarities to South American jungle villages also living in large single structures. The design is elegant: being raised and built over a hill, flooding presents little inconvenience and the height acts defence against enemy attacks. The entire architecture is designed and built as a standing tree with branches to the right and left with the front part facing the sunrise while the back facing the sundown. The longhouse building acts as the normal accommodation purposes and a house of worship for religious activities. The entry could double as a canoe dock. Cooling air could circulate underneath the raised floor of the dwelling, and the elevated living areas were more likely to catch above ground breezes. Livestock could shelter underneath the longhouses for greater protection from predators and the elements. In fact, chickens corps were hung from the main room structure for easy feeding.
Old longhouses in Asia were made of tree trunks as structure members, long leaves as the roof cover, split bamboo or small tree trunks as the flooring and tree bark as the wall coverings. In modern times many of the older longhouses have been replaced with buildings using more modern materials but of similar design.
The layout of a traditional longhouse of the Iban Dayak could be described as follows:
The houses built by the different tribes and ethnic groups can differ from each other. Houses described as above may be used by the Iban Sea Dayak and Melanau Sea Dayak. Similar houses are built by the Bidayuh, Land Dayak, however with wider verandas and extra buildings for the unmarried adults and visitors. The buildings of the Kayan, Kenyah, Murut, and Kelabit used to have fewer walls between individual bilik units. The Punan seem to be the last ethnic group that adopted this type of house building. The Rungus of Sabah in north Borneo build a type of longhouse with rather short stilts, the house raised three to five feet of the ground, and walls sloped outwards.
Many place names in Sarawak have "Long" in their name (which means river) and most of these are or once were longhouses. Some villages like Long Semado in Sarawak have airfields. Another longhouse is the Punan sama.
A traditional house type of the Sakuddei people, on the island of Siberut, part of the Mentawai Islands some 130 kilometers (81 mi) to the west off the coast of Sumatra (Sumatera), Indonesia is also described as a longhouse on stilts. Some five to ten families may live in each, but they are organized differently inside from those on Borneo. From front to back, such a house, called an "uma", regularly consists of an open platform serving as the main entrance place, followed by a covered gallery. The inside is divided into two rooms, one behind the other. On the back there is another platform. The whole building is raised on short stilts about half a meter off the ground. The front platform is used for general activities while the covered gallery is the favorite place for the men to host guests, and where the men usually sleep. The following first room is entered by a door and contains a central communal hearth and a place for dancing. There are also places for religious and ritual objects and activities. In the adjoining room the women and their small children as well as unmarried daughters sleep, usually in compartments divided into families. The platform on the back is used by the women for their everyday activities. Visiting women usually enter the house here.
The Mnong and Rade of Vietnam also have a tradition of building longhouses (Vietnamese: nhà dài) that may be 30 to 40 metres (98 to 131 ft) long. In contrast to the jungle versions of Borneo these sport shorter stilts and seem to use a veranada in front of a short (gable) side as main entrance.
The Rana Tharu is an ethnic group indigenous to the western Terai of Nepal. Most of them prefer living in longhouses called Badaghar with big families of many generations, sometimes 40-50 people. All household members pool their labor force, contribute their income, share the expenditure and use one kitchen. Traditionally, their houses are built entirely using natural materials such as reed poles for walls and thatch for roofing.
For the longhouses in Sarawak on Borneo, these books were used as sources, among others:
Catherine Walsh (born 1964) is an Irish poet. She was born in Dublin, and grew up there and in rural Wexford. She is the founder and co-editor of hardPressed Poetry with Billy Mills. She lives in Limerick. She served as Holloway Lecturer on the Practice of Poetry at University of California, Berkeley for 2012/13.
Her books include
Macula (Dublin, Red Wheelbarrow Press, 1986)
The Ca Pater Pillar Thing and More Besides (Dublin, hardPressed Poetry, 1986)
Making Tents (hardPressed Poetry, 1987)
Short Stories (UK, Twickenham and Wakefield, North & South, 1989)
from Pitch (London, Form Books, 1993)
Pitch (Durham, UK, Pig press, 1994)
Idir Eatortha & Making Tents (London, Invisible Books, 1997)
Etruscan Books Reader No 1 ( Devon, Etruscan Books, 1997)
from City West (Vermont, Longhouse, 1997)
City West (Exeter, UK, Shearsman Books, Ltd, 2005)
Optic Verve (Exeter, UK, Shearsman Books, Ltd, 2009)
Astonished Birds Cara, Jane, Bob and James (hardPressed Poetry, 2012)Dartmoor longhouse
The Dartmoor longhouse is a type of traditional stone-built home, typically found on the high ground of Dartmoor, in Devon, England and belonging to a wider tradition of combining human residences with those of livestock (cattle or sheep) under a single roof specific to western Britain; Wales, Cornwall and Devon, where they are more usually referred to simply as 'longhouses' and in general housebarns. The earliest are thought to have been built in the 13th century, and they continued to be constructed throughout the mediaeval period and into the Early Modern, using local granite or other stone. One particular longhouse near Carreg Cennen Castle in Wales is dated to the 11th century. Many longhouses are still inhabited today (although adapted over the centuries), while others have been converted into farm buildings. Forms of longhouses identical to those on Dartmoor are found in Cornwall, particularly on Bodmin Moor and in Wales where they are commonly called tyddyn meaning 'homestead', or specifically Ty Hir meaning 'long-house' in the Welsh language. A near identical type called the (Maison) Longère can also be found in northwestern (Brittany, Normandy) and central France.
Higher Uppacott, one of very few remaining longhouses to retain its original unaltered shippon and medieval thatch, is a Grade I listed building, and is now owned by the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
Another fine example of a 16th-century longhouse, extended and enlarged can be found at Cullacott near Launceston in Cornwall.
The longhouse consists of a long, single-storey gable-ended granite structure built lengthwise down the slope of a hill, with a central 'cross-passage' dividing it into two rooms, sometimes partitioned with a screen. The higher end of the building was occupied by the human inhabitants; their animals were tethered in the lower, especially during the cold winter months. The animal quarters, called the 'shippon' or 'shippen'; a word still used by many locals to describe a farm building used for livestock, were located down the slope to allow slurry to drain out through the end wall. In Wales, the upper end was known as pen uchaf, the lower end pen isaf and the passage penllawr meaning 'head of the floor'.Early longhouses would have had no chimney - the smoke from a central fire simply filtered through the thatched roof and the whole space was open to the rafters, without a ceiling, as in a medieval English hall, to benefit from the heat of the open peat or furze hearth. Windows were very small or non-existent, so the interior would have been dark. The cross-passage had a door at either end, and with both of these open a breeze was often created which made it an ideal location for winnowing. Later in the medieval period, separation from the animals was increased with the introduction of enclosed stone fireplaces and upper floors inserted to create private bedrooms, while the roofspace above the shippen was often used as a hayloft or store.The medieval Welsh tale The Dream of Rhonabwy from the 12th or 13th century vividly describes the interior of "an old pitch black hall":
This simple floorplan is clearly visible at the abandoned mediaeval village at Hound Tor, which was inhabited from the mid-13th to the mid-15th centuries corresponding with the establishment of the Ancient Tenements on the high moorlands and abandoned as a result of depopulation following the Black Death after 1340. Excavations during the 1960s revealed four longhouses, many featuring a central drainage channel, and several smaller houses and barns. Peter Herring notes in his discussion of a medieval hamlet of six longhouses at Brown Willy in Cornwall dating from the mid-thirteenth century, that the shippons were typically orientated toward a common livestock holding area or 'townplace', whilst the raised human portion was carefully positioned away from the communal area for privacy. Roofs were originally thatched, with gardens and various agricultural outbuildings including communal corn-driers.In later centuries, the longhouses were adapted and expanded, often with the addition of an upper floor and a granite porch to protect against the elements. Substantial inglenook fireplaces and chimneys were also added, along with adjoining dairies, staircases and linhays and can be seen at many of the surviving Dartmoor longhouses today (see Ancient Tenements) which often have roofs replaced with local or Welsh slate, mainly in the nineteenth century. The ownership of an extensive longhouse is regarded as a sign of the relative prosperity of the rural region and longhouses would usually have been occupied by land-owning families rather than tenant peasants who would have occupied much humbler dwellings.Duwamish people
The Duwamish (Lushootseed: Dxʷdəwʔabš, [dxʷdɐwʔabʃ]) are a Lushootseed-speaking Native American tribe in western Washington, and the indigenous people of metropolitan Seattle, where they have been living since the end of the last glacial period (c. 8000 BCE, 10,000 years ago). The Duwamish tribe descends from at least two distinct groups from before intense contact with people of European ancestry—the People of the Inside (the environs of Elliott Bay) and the People of the Large Lake (Lake Washington)—and continues to evolve both culturally and ethnically. By historic language, the Duwamish are (Skagit-Nisqually) Lushootseed; Lushootseed is a Salishan language. Adjacent tribes throughout the Puget Sound-Strait of Georgia basin were, and are, interconnected and interrelated, yet distinct. Today, some Duwamish people are enrolled in the federally recognized Tulalip Tribes of Washington.
The present-day Duwamish tribe developed in parallel with the times of the Treaty of Point Elliott and its aftermath in the 1850s. Although not recognized by the U.S. federal government, the Duwamish remain an organized tribe with roughly 500 enrolled members as of 2004. In 2009, the Duwamish tribe opened the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center on purchased land near their ancient settlement of Ha-AH-Poos (also written hah-AH-poos) in West Seattle, near the mouth of the Duwamish River.Gawai Dayak
Gawai Dayak is an annual festival celebrated by the Dayak people in Sarawak, Malaysia and West Kalimantan, Indonesia on 31 May and 1 June. It is a public holiday in Sarawak and is both a religious and a social occasion recognised since 1957.
Gawai Dayak was the concept of the radio producers Tan Kingsley and Owen Liang taken up by the Dayak community. The British colonial government refused to recognise Dayak Day until 1962. They called it Sarawak Day for the inclusion of all Sarawakians as a national day, regardless of ethnic origin.
On 1 June 1963, Datuk Michael Buma, a Betong native, hosted the celebrations of the first Gawai Dayak at his home at Siol Kandis, Kuching. On 25 September 1964, Sarawak Day was gazetted as a public holiday acknowledging the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. The holiday was first celebrated on 1 June 1965 and it became a symbol of unity, aspiration and hope for the Dayak community. It is an integral part of Dayak social life. It is a thanksgiving day marking a bountiful harvest and a time to plan for the new farming season or other endeavours ahead.Great Law of Peace
Among the Haudenosaunee (the "Six Nations," comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora peoples) the Great Law of Peace is the oral constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy. The law was written on wampum belts, conceived by Dekanawidah, known as the Great Peacemaker, and his spokesman Hiawatha. The original five member nations ratified this constitution near modern-day Victor, New York, with the sixth nation (the Tuscarora) being added in 1722.
The laws were first recorded and transmitted not in written language, but by means of wampum symbols that conveyed meaning. In a later era it was translated into English and various other accounts exist. The Great Law of Peace is presented as part of a narrative noting laws and ceremonies to be performed at prescribed times. The laws called a constitution are divided into 117 articles. The united Iroquois nations are symbolized by an eastern white pine tree, called the Tree of Peace. Each nation or tribe plays a delineated role in the conduct of government.
Attempts to date the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy have focused on a reported solar eclipse, which many scholars identify as the one that occurred in 1451 AD, though some debate exists with support for 1190.Jack Lenor Larsen
Jack Lenor Larsen (born 1927) is a textile designer, author and collector and promoter of traditional and contemporary craftsmanship in all its forms.List of Pennsylvania Scenic Byways
The Pennsylvania Scenic Byways system consists of 20 roads recognized for their scenic or historic qualities.List of diplomatic missions of Brunei
This is a list of diplomatic missions of Brunei. The small oil-rich Commonwealth Kingdom of Brunei has a limited number of diplomatic missions, mostly being in East Asia. The kingdom's diplomatic missions and general foreign policy are managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Some of the chanceries are designed possessing the architectural features of a Borneo longhouse, with slanted, tapered eaves over a relatively narrow structure.Longhouse Media
Longhouse Media is a Washington State non-profit indigenous media arts organization, based in Seattle. It was established in January 2005 by Executive Director, Tracy Rector and former Artistic Director, Annie Silverstein, with the support of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Longhouse Media supports the use of today’s technologies by indigenous people and communities as a tool for self-expression, cultural preservation, and social change. Longhouse Media counts 4 full-time and 3 part-time staff, 30 active volunteers, and 8 board members. Among the founding board members is award-winning author, playwright and poet Sherman Alexie, from the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Tribes.Longhouse Religion
The Longhouse Religion is the popular name of the religious movement known as The Code of Handsome Lake or Gaihwi:io (Good Message), founded in 1799 by the Seneca prophet Handsome Lake (Sganyodaiyoˀ). This movement combines and reinterprets elements of traditional Iroquois religious beliefs with elements adopted from Christianity, primarily from the Quakers. Gaihwi:io currently has about 5,000 practicing members. Originally the Gaihwi:io was known as the "new religion" in opposition to the prevailing animistic beliefs, but has since become known as the "old religion" in opposition to Christianity.
Prior to the adoption of the single-family dwelling, Iroquois lived in large, extended-family homes also known as longhouses which also served as meeting places, town halls, theaters, and sites for religious ceremonies. Gaihwi:io keeps the longhouses for ceremonial purposes, and the movement was therefore termed the "Longhouse Religion."Longhouses of the indigenous peoples of North America
Longhouses were a style of residential dwelling built by Native American tribes and First Nation band governments in various parts of North America. Sometimes separate longhouses were built for community meetings.Medieval Scandinavian architecture
The major aspects of Medieval Scandinavian architecture are boathouses, religious buildings (before and after Christians arrived in the area), and general buildings (both in cities and outside of them).Mohawk people
The Mohawk people (Mohawk: Kanienʼkehá꞉ka) are the most easterly tribe of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy. They are an Iroquoian-speaking indigenous people of North America, with communities in northern New York State and southeastern Canada, primarily around Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River. As one of the five original members of the Iroquois League, the Mohawk are known as the Keepers of the Eastern Door - the traditional guardians of the Iroquois Confederation against invasions from the east.
Historically, the Mohawk people were originally based in the valley of the Mohawk River in present-day upstate New York, west of the Hudson River. Their territory ranged north to the St. Lawrence River, southern Quebec and eastern Ontario; south to greater New Jersey and into Pennsylvania; eastward to the Green Mountains of Vermont; and westward to the border with the Iroquoian Oneida Nation's traditional homeland territory.Native American religion
Native American religions are the spiritual practices of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This article focuses on Native North Americans. Traditional Native American ceremonial ways can vary widely and are based on the differing histories and beliefs of individual tribes, clans, and bands. Early European explorers describe individual Native American tribes and even small bands as each having their own religious practices. Theology may be monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, animistic, shamanistic, pantheistic or any combination thereof, among others. Traditional beliefs are usually passed down in the forms of oral histories, stories, allegories, and principles, and rely on face to face teaching in one's family and community.Neolithic long house
The Neolithic long house was a long, narrow timber dwelling built by the first farmers in Europe beginning at least as early as the period 5000 to 6000 BC. They first appeared in central Europe in connection with the early Neolithic cultures such as the Linear Pottery culture or Cucuteni culture. This type of architecture represents the largest free-standing structure in the world in its era. Long houses are present across numerous regions and time periods in the archaeological record.
The long house was a rectangular structure, 5.5 to 7.0 m wide, of variable length, around 20 m up to 45 m. Outer walls were wattle-and-daub, sometimes alternating with split logs, with pitched, thatched roofs, supported by rows of poles, three across. The exterior walls would have been quite short beneath the large roof. They were solid and massive, oak posts being preferred. Clay for the daub was dug from pits near the house, which were then used for storage. Extra posts at one end may indicate a partial second story. Some Linear Pottery culture houses were occupied for as long as 30 years.It is thought that these houses had no windows and only one doorway. The door was located at one end of the house. Internally, the house had one or two partitions creating up to three areas. Interpretations of the use of these areas vary. Working activities might be carried out in the better lit door end, the middle used for sleeping and eating and the end farthest from the door could have been used for grain storage. According to other view, the interior was divided in areas for sleeping, common life and a fenced enclosure at the back end for keeping animals.Twenty or thirty people could have lived in each house, with villages composed typically of five to eight houses. Exceptionally, nearly 30 longhouses in a fortified settlement (dating to 4300 BC, i.e., Late Linear Pottery culture) were revealed by excavations at Oslonki in Poland.Old Frisian longhouse
Old-frisian longhouses were, as the name indicates, long-bodied houses which can be found in the Dutch province Friesland. This type of house had more than two different parts behind or beside each part. It is the forerunner of the "Head-Neck-Body farmhouse".
There are a variety of types, but most have vanished during time. The only remaining longhouse is located in the Dutch village Wartena. One of the oldest reminding of this type of residence comes from an undated writing from around 1850 from J.H. Halbertsma, the Lexicon Frisicum (A and B). Halbertsma made an untidy schematic drawing that shows the lines of the outer walls of a longhouse.Onondaga people
The Onondaga (Onöñda’gaga’ or "Hill Place") people are one of the original five constituent nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy in northeast North America. Their traditional homeland is in and around present-day Onondaga County, New York, south of Lake Ontario. They are known as Gana’dagwëni:io’geh to the other Iroquois tribes. Being centrally located, they are considered the "Keepers of the Fire" (Kayečisnakwe’nì·yu’ in Tuscarora) in the figurative longhouse that shelters the Five Nations. The Cayuga and Seneca have territory to their west and the Oneida and Mohawk to their east. For this reason, the League of the Iroquois historically met at the Iroquois government's capital at Onondaga, as the traditional chiefs do today.Uma longhouse
Uma are traditional vernacular houses found on the western part of the island of Siberut in Indonesia. The island is part of the Mentawai islands off the west coast of Sumatra.
The structures are influenced by the Acehnese style, they are built on a much larger scale. They were formerly used as uma longhouses by the Sakuddei tribe before they were forced to abandon their traditional way of life through government intervention in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, some attempts have been made to re-establish them in their former areas of settlement. Uma longhouses are rectangular with a verandah at each end. They can be 300 m2 in area. Built on piles, they traditional have no windows. The insides are separated into different dwelling spaces by partition which usually have inter-connecting doors.
Villages are built alongside river banks and are made up of one or more communal Uma longhouses and single-storey family houses known as lalep. Villages housed up to 300 people and the larger villages were divided into sections along patrilineal clans of families with their own uma. Rusuk were dwellings for widows and bachelors which are similar to the family longhouse but without an altar. The uma is the centre of social, religious, and political life and it is here where every village member of egalitarian Mentawai society is able to contribute meetings about matters affecting the community. Like many Indonesians, Mentawaians believe in a separable soul that leaves the body upon death becoming a ghost. To protect themselves from these spirits, fetish sticks are placed by the entrances of the log wall that surrounds and fortifies the village and forms a stockade for cattle.West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Barat) is a province of Indonesia. It is one of five Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city is Pontianak. The province has an area of 147,307 km² with a recorded 2010 census population of 4,395,983 . Ethnic groups include the Dayak, Malay, Chinese, Javanese, Bugis, and Madurese. The latest official estimate (as of January 2014) is 4,546,439. The borders of West Kalimantan roughly trace the mountain ranges surrounding the watershed of the Kapuas River, which drains most of the province. The province shares land borders with Central Kalimantan to the southeast, East Kalimantan to the east, and the Malaysian territory of Sarawak to the north.
West Kalimantan is an area that could be dubbed "The Province of a Thousand Rivers". The nickname is aligned with the geographical conditions that have hundreds of large and small rivers that which can be and often are navigable. Several major rivers are still the main route for freight to the hinterland, despite road infrastructure now reaching most districts.
Although a small part of West Kalimantan region is sea water, West Kalimantan has dozens of large and small islands (mostly uninhabited) spread along the Karimata Strait and Natuna Sea that borders the province of Riau Islands. The total population in the province, according to the 2000 census totaled 4,073,430 inhabitants (1.85% of Indonesia's population).