he tribal hut follows a set pattern of construction and takes 60 days for completion, Ramasamy, a villager of Pallakaniyur noted.
On a gigantic rock at Pallakaniyur sits an example of Yelagiri’s own piece of traditional architecture, passed on for generations together. The dwelling of Govindasamy, with its unique structural design and construction techniques stands proof of the tribal culture of Yelagiri Hills.
Govindasamy, a coolie, does not know when his house was constructed. “This has been our home for several decades,” he added. The tribal hut follows a set pattern of construction and takes 60 days for completion, Ramasamy, a villager of Pallakaniyur noted.
A ‘thinna’, constructed on either side of the entrance welcomes visitors to this tribal hut. Inside the house is a huge container made of bamboo and soil, further reflecting the tribal culture. This container is used to store grains.
“We have certain methods to construct the hut. First, boulders and small-sized rocks are placed on the ground. Wooden logs are kept on these boulders. Then, we use iron rods to crush the red soil. This is soaked in water for some time and mixed by treading. The soil is made into balls and these are raised as walls,” he explained.
Only two feet of wall is raised per day as the surface has to dry.
“The walls for the hut are raised in this way. We wait for it to dry to raise the height every day. Hence, it takes 60 days for us to complete these huts,” added Ramasamy, who has constructed such houses in Yelagiri.
Lemon grass is used to form the roof of the hut.
A few villagers have constructed similar type of houses but with the foundation on the ground, unlike the traditional huts which use boulders and wooden logs.
To give the annual summer festival held last year a glimpse into the tribal aura of Yelagiri, the district administration had constructed a tribal hut by roping in the villagers near the first hairpin bend leading to the hill. This tribal hut had served as the reception centre for the festival.
“We were roped in to construct the tribal hut down the hill. Nevertheless, such huts are becoming rare in Yelagiri as many villagers now prefer concrete structures. But these tribal huts are much stronger,” he added.
Sivakumar, a villager of Kottur also noted such traditional tribal huts were fading away on the hills. There are few such houses at Nilavoor, Ramasamy mentioned.