al-Hiba: Pisé House Makers

Date: 1960s

Pisé houses are less expensive than mud brick houses, and are usually built by the family themselves. The mud is mixed the same way as with mud houses (see: Makers of Mud Bricks), but the temper is often made of thicker pieces. The head of the household is responsible for deciding when the mud mixture is the appropriate consistency. Once the mixture is ready the walls are put up, normally without a foundation, in 20cm high sections, which takes two to four days. Once the whole structure is complete a thick reed is used to apply plaster. This plastering must be redone annually. See also: Maker of Mud Drums; Sculptor with Mud; Potter; Maker of Handmade Pottery Vessels; Maker of Mud Bricks; Builder.

Citation: Ochsenschlager, Edward. Iraq’s Marsh Arabs in the Garden of Eden (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2004), pp. 98-99.