A traditional Yucatec Maya house in the village of Patchakan, Corozal
A 'Malix Peek' is in front of the house guarding. Malix Peek' or Malix pronounce as "Malish" is the Maya name we use for this kind of dog in the villages of northern Belize . Malix Peek' is "Common Dog" . The malix peek' is part of our northern Maya culture.
The traditional Maya house, made from cohune leaves and sticks from the forest, is a cool and sustainably built home. The cohune palm leaves are woven together to build a roof over the Maya homes, a practice done for centuries.
Hardwoods such as mahogany, sapodilla or santa maria are reserved in the forest for building purposes, only the needed trees are cut. The cohune leaves are carefully chosen and cut depending on its size and maturity to ensure a long lasting roof. All the wood, sticks and leaves tied together with twines or vines.
When building, members of the community provide support by helping gather the materials and giving a helping hand. These forest communities have the skills and knowledge to conserve their resources to meet their needs, continue with their way of life and bring happiness.
This home is not pimento sticks. They are dark and fuzzy. These are traditional "chit" which only grows in Yucatan area near the sea. Smooth round trunk with pompom palm top. The leaves are smaller than guano and last longer when used in roof near the sea. The trunk for walls and the leaves for roof. Over that they will often plaster with sascab mixed with cal.
In other traditional homes, the wood can be a wide variety of species - whatever is readily available and suitable. Often it is reused from old milpas. But it is also believed that this was a specific strategy to ensure they didn't overuse just one type of tree.
Photograph courtesy Belize Yucatec Maya
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