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Our Nation > Culture > Housing > Summer House

Summer House

Toompalliꞌ chokkaꞌ or summer house was a lighter structure designed to provide shade from the sun and protection from the elements. The timbers that formed the walls of the summer house were made from thin strips of pine or cypress. Did you notice how the building was built in the shape of a rectangle? This shape provided a long peaked roof, which was made from split saplings or bundles of cane. The tent-like roof allowed the eaves to be vented which let the breeze pass easily through the building.

According to some oral history accounts, these houses did not have walls attached until it rained. Then the walls were handily placed against the house and interlaced with rope on the existing supporting poles. Summer houses had floors attached to supporting poles which were placed approximately two or three feet from the ground. Items could be stored underneath the floors of the houses.