yurt (6)

Warmest Tent on Earth – Pitching in the Siberian Arctic Winter

The Nenet reindeer herders need to move their tent every few days throughout most of the year. Every time they migrate they must pack the whole tent away, drag it across the tundra on sledges, and erect it again in a fresh place, sometimes in temperatures of minus thirty degrees. Survival depends on working together as a team.

From Rich Storek

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Sámi Shelter

Photo of Sámi people standing in front of a peat-covered goahti shelter around 1880 in Northern Norway

The Sámi people are a Finno-Ugric-speaking people inhabiting the region of Sápmi (formerly known as Lapland), which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and of the Murmansk Oblast, Russia, most of the Kola Peninsula in particular. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, but these terms are regarded as offensive by some Sámi people, who prefer the area’s name in their own languages, e.g. Northern Sami Sápmi.…

Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sámi are connected to reindeer herding, which provides them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sámi people are actively involved in reindeer herding on a full-time basis in Norway. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sámi people in some regions of the Nordic countries.…


From article in The Guardian on the return of a Sámi shaman’s drum to the Sámi people by the National Museum of Denmark
Sent us by Maui Surfer

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Yurt of Sprayed Concrete


Just looking at your blog and reminiscing. I’ll include my first house that was inspired by your first book. I built it in the woods outside Chapel Hill NC. I stretched burlap over the frames and sprayed it with watered-down cement. The area was many acres of owner-built alternative architecture. (The book “12 by 12” is about a little house that was on the next street over.) The funny thing about my little house is, years later I was traveling through the area and went by to see what it looked like. Astonishingly (to me), it had been turned into an upscale suburban sea of split-level homes but the one on my old lot had kept the little yurt and was using it for a pool house.

Since those days, I have built 6–8 houses; the most recent was in a community called City of the Sun in southern New Mexico primarily out of papercrete.

Thank you for all you have done to inspire countless dreamers.

–Bob Cook

Back in the ’60s, my architect hero was Bernard Maybeck who, along with architect Julia Morgan, designed a series of wonderful Bay Area buildings. One of Maybeck’s experiments was “Bubblestone,” making a wall by hanging burlap bags that had been “…dipped into a frothy mix of concrete and then hung, shingle-style, onto exterior walls.”

Reference for above quote: patch.com/california/berkeley/bp–architect-bernard-maybeck-and-his-experiments-witac2f59eef0

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Yurts in Cornwall

I recently got an Instagram post from Lisa Mudie at Mill Valley Yurts in Cornwall, U.K, along with some photos. (They rent yurts and cabins in a rural setting.) I asked her to email me, and she wrote:

“Thirteen years ago we started a rustic campsite in our beautiful Cornish Valley a few miles from the rugged Atlantic coast which has evolved over the years into a crazy mix of hobbit huts, wooden yurts, cabins, and gypsy vardos. All handmade by us using reclaimed materials and all Cornish timber. Our latest purchase is a mobile sawmill and 26 tonnes of local oak … now we can really start building!”

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