The House of Mountain Area
- Type: Local house
There are many various traditional architecture types in the ethnic groups in mountainous areas, especially houses. Housing architecture is the important creation about material culture for Vietnamese community; creating a tight link to life quality, life space, space for public activities. Through house or warehouse architecture, people can partly know about the customs, culture and vitality of that ethnic group. However, some of these cultural values have changed gradually.
Houses of ethnic groups in Quang Nam and Truong Son – Tay Nguyen mountainous areas are mostly house on stilts, 1 meter or above in height from the ground. These houses have stairs to go up and down like those of Katu, Xo Dang, Gie Trieng, Ta Oi, Ba Na, Gia Rai, Ede … minorities. There are also the houses which are the combination of stilt house style and flat house style in Ma, M’nong ethnic groups. This architecture type is suitable for the terrain, space, natural environment in mountainous areas. From the popular materials like woods, bamboos, reeds, lianas …, people can cleverly build many beautiful parts of house from roof to floor, etc… These folk architectures have made the traditional cultural impress which transmitted to their posterity.
Nowadays, residential spaces, traditional architecture, construction materials of mountainous ethnic groups have changed significantly. In recent years, due to settled agriculture, settlement, resettlement to construct transport works, hydropower, and people have built houses by new materials with modern architecture and equipments. However, the image of traditional house on stilts still inculcates in their minds. They still recall that image by themselves by the way of building the house on stilts with the shape of turtle shell which is nearby the house made of bricks. It is the place where creates the warmth of family; they are able to eat, talk, and sleep next to the fire. Instead of living in the long house on stilts of matriarchal family type with many kitchens and many households any more, nowadays, they are patriarchal ones with short house on stilts and there are only 1 or 2 kitchens. Depending on the length of house, house can be divided into 2 or more compartments.
Applying the housing policy for mountainous people is the right, humanistic ones; expresses the deep concern of Party and State to minorities. Nevertheless, this policy should be implemented reasonably and logically so that the traditional values on house architecture are preserved and developed solidly. The cultural beauty is the combination of physical, spiritual, and aesthetic factors; that is the reason why people should not destroy the cultural identities. To be conserved and developed, culture needs the interference, not replacement. If the government invests and supports with rigid principles, this is the threats for conserving the identities of Vietnam’s minorities.