Parn Building / Landmark in Samthô | World Anvil
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General introduction

The peoples of Andaperna have to deal with the issues of not having wood available in large quantities. This causes buildings in general, but especially living quarters, to be rather flat instead of higher, even multi-storied. A typical feature of Andaperna architecture are thus the small loam huts or hut compounds called parn (pl. parneš) or šuhh (pl. šuhhaš), with the latter more often describing the hut compounds. Due to the polyethnic and polyglossic makeup of Andaperna, different names exist, like ee (pl. eeka) or damar (pl. damareϑ), katar (pl. katareϑ) or asahar (no plural).


Technology and layout

Loamy soil deposited in masses by the many rivers of Andaperna is available everywhere and used to various ends. Stomped or otherwise compacted soil is – to noones surprise – the most common building material for all kinds of buildings.

One problem the material has its susceptability to water. To ward of spring floods, it is common to raise the parn off the ground by creating small plateaus of stomped earth. This is achieved by stabilising the outer rims of a certain area with stones or wood, if available, or with lumps of already compacted earth. The area surrounded by this makeshift confinement of some sort is gradually filled with layers of soil that are compacted by stomping with feet or with stompers made from tree trunks with stone caps at the end. These stompers are rare, so they are kept in warehouses and can only be borrowed from there for a fee and provided the borrowing family leaves a considerable deposit. With wood being so rare, people are known to have left even their children as deposits.

After the roughly oval or round fundamentum is set and has reached hip-height, the mostly roundish hut is built on top. Parn are small and unassuming as the lower strata of society don't possess much. So the parn are made up of a single room inside and only so high as to be able to stand upright. A stove with a chimney, the haš (or kun or tanurar) is part of every parn though, as each family provides for themselves. They usually only get light from the front door, though some do have a small hole in the wall serving as a window. These are called aš (or appa or niϑor). The basic furniture of a parn thus consists of only a few things: ceramic pots for cooking and storing food, mats and matresses made from reed, the clothing a family possesses and some baskets to store or strings to hang things.

Parn have to be regularly repaired and restored as the are made from unfired bricks and stomped earth. It is not unusual, though, especially after the winter, that parn are evacuated from everything of worth to the family and the reed-based furniture, as its cheap and easy to make and there's reed in abundance everywhere, is burned inside the parn to get rid of any parasites that might have made the residents lifes during the winter harder. It's sometimes also done as a kind of ritualistic cleansing to remove the cold and bitterness of the winter. These burnings only stabilise the parns inside as a welcome side effect.

Parn are usually covered with reed mats to shelter them from precipitation as well. In some areas reed-roofs have evolved from this. It is these kinds of parn which tend to get called šuhh. Many people span a large textile in front of the parn as to have protection from the sun during the hot summer months without having to sit in the small parn.



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