Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, August 25, 2008

MOROCCO: INTO THE ATLAS –PART 4: HOUSE CONSTRUCTION

The Berber village in the Atlas Mountains that Jade and her mother, Inez, visited in the 1920 adventure, The Serpent’s Daughter, would not have been much different from the ones seen today. True, several modern villages have electricity coming into the village (but not necessarily each home) and some even have a satellite dish on the roof, but those are peripheral changes. The basic construction method is very similar to the old days.

The first step is making enough pise bricks (photo 1).

After the bricks are built up, the outside is coated with the clay to make a smooth surface. The roof begins with cross timbers (photo 2) which are overlayed with diagonally placed bamboo rods then covered in straw and clay (also seen in photo 2). That is eventually covered with another layer of clay.

The inside ceiling of bamboo is decorated by painting it in colorful patterns in red, yellow and black. In the old days, the diamond or lozenge pattern has been said to represent an eye, such as the partridge’s eye which keeps away the “evil eye.” (photo 3).

Finally, the exterior is often decorated in patterns. In photo 4, there are two patterns that resemble the fibula pins that women used to hold their outer cloaks on over their dresses.

NEXT WEEK: GARDENS AND WATER IN THE MOUNTAINS.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter (available in paperback October, 2008). The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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