DCCA’s traditional canoe house survives Yutu

HUNDREDS of houses on Saipan were destroyed by Typhoon Yutu, but the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ Guma Higai in Susupe sustained only minor damage.

The traditional canoe house, which was built in Dec. 2017 and completed in Aug. 2018, is under DCCA’s Seafaring Traditions Program.

Except for its posts, which were toppled by the typhoon’s strong wind, the canoe house’s massive roof remains intact.

“The structure is still livable. We only need to put the posts back with the help of a boom truck,” project administrator John Castro said.

The Guma Higai, he added, was made with organic materials: coconut leaves and four big logs.

He said they also used coconut fiber instead of nails.

“Unlike with modern materials, if it is bent or has holes, it will not protect you from rain or strong wind. This is one good example of a traditional house. It has ‘fallen’ but it is still livable,” Castro added.

Moreover, the canoe house repair will not take several days or months to complete.

“If we return to our old ways, we will have fewer problems,” Castro said.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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