Travel Pics Theme: On the Road Again! Mud pies and straw

Adobe Pueblo multi-family home

Adobe Pueblo multi-family home outside Taos, New Mexico


For most computer users around the world, Adobe is a software company that makes PDFs, and Photoshop, and Illustrator, and Lightroom, and Premiere, and for radio geeks like me Audition.

But there’s another, much older Adobe.

As you travel through the American south-west, you see a variety of architectural styles and building materials – but in the ‘pueblos’ or native villages, there’s a style and material that dominates .. Adobe Brick.

Adobe in Spanish literally means ‘mud brick’, and typically adobe bricks are made from mud, straw, and other organic materials. They are mixed in a slurry and then laid out in frames to create bricks – which are then sun-dried and used to build all sorts of structures.

In the pueblos, most adobe structures are multi-level – and are, in fact, like apartments ..with multiple families living in separate homes within the same structure.

The traditional home had doors either on the roof or at the least on the second floor — access was via ladders which  could be pulled up in case of attack.

Today, of course, convenience has led to ground-floor doorways .. but not all homes have them.

Adobe bricks are relatively light but very sturdy – and cheap to make. But there is a down side.

Being sun-dried, they are susceptible to weathering, which is why adobe structures are covered with an outer coating of mud, giving them their smooth, brown appearance.

But that mud, too, is subject to weathering. Ansd so regular maintenance is required.

Shirley and I are preparing to have our wooden home repainted, for the first time in 15 years. And it’s a hassle.

So I’m not sure how I’d feel about having to have my walls re-coated twice a year – although I suspect it would be a truckload cheaper 🙂

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