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Adobe - Large sun dried bricks much used by the Pueblo Indians in building houses and garden walls.  Not until the sixteenth century when the Spaniards visited the Indians did they learn to mold these bricks in wooden frames.  Until that time their method was to set fire to a pile of sagebrush twigs and sedge grass, let it burn down to half coals and ashes, then throw in a quantity of dirt and water and mix it together.  This mixture was formed into balls, which hardened when dry.  These "stones" were set together with mortar of the same mixture, unhardened.  After the Spanish taught the Pueblo Indians to grow wheat, they added the straw to strengthen their bricks.

Because much water is needed in brick making, the Indian pueblos usually are located near streams.  Both the bricks and the houses from which they are made are called "adobes."  Generally the bricks are eighteen inches long ten inches wide and six inches thick.  When molded, they are set on edge with a slight slant to shed the rain.  Adobe colors vary from gray to a rich reddish brown.  Indian women use their hands to plaster the walls.  The interior and borders of the windows are sometimes whitewashed.  Adobe, or 'dobe houses are ideal for the hot dry climate in which they are used, being cool in the summer ad warm in the winter.

In the Southwest, where the average rainfall was not great, structures built of adobe lasted a long time, with little need of repair.  When there was rain, the greatest damage was done to the base of the walls.

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