- 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
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.
within this Site
][ Pueblo Indians ]