Monday, June 18, 2012

Longhouse, day 2

This day we cut the branches and leaves off of the trees we cut (and fed them to the goats, who said YUM!). Armed with loppers, our crew of workers turned our saplings into poles and posts.

Then we cut the poles and posts to length (Zoo Boy, below, with loppers, but much of this was done with bow saws as well). The poles and roof arches were cut to 10 foot lengths, and the posts to 6 foot for the most part (although we needed eight 8 foot posts as well).

Then we spent some time stripping bark off our poles and posts (Zoo Boy below). The Haudenosaunee did that to prevent insect infestation of their homes, and also because the strips of bark were used as lashes during construction. They had an easier time than we did, because they used Elm saplings, and Elm bark strips off fairly easily and in long strips. We were using mostly Sugar Maple, which is no where near as easy to strip, and the strips in general are too short to be used for lashes. We discussed the difference, and talked a bit about why there aren't Elm trees to use (they were wiped out during a blight in the middle of the last century).

We let the kids do as much bark stripping as they wanted to, but the project will progress with bark still on most of the poles and posts. Our Longhouse only really needs to survive the summer, not a couple decades, so there's no point in putting days and days into a difficult, tedious task for no real gain.

Above, one of my bigger challenges, trying to keep fair little Rosebud enough in the shade not to burn her to a crisp! She's done pretty well between being carried in the sling and the Ergo, and being passed about by the other adults.

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