In Panama, the building of a traditional mud house – ‘casa de quincha’ is something of a social event where friends and relatives get together to help a neighbour build a home.
First the main pillars of the house are erected not more than 3 meters apart, and then made into a cage with local rattan sticks of about 25mm thick. Suitable earth is brought to the site. Rice straw and water is added. Next, men with shoulders around each other pound the earth with their feet. The mud is finally placed onto the rattan cage.
The typical Casa de Quincha has a porch, vestibule, sleeping quarters and kitchen.
Today rural homes are more likely to be made with concrete, bricks and zinc, but Panamans still hold “meetings of embarra”, where they remember and celebrate their traditions.
Sources: La Casa de Quincha, Prensa.com
Photos: Prensa.com and Dino's Panama Photos
Thanks to Roberto Reid from Panama who sent me the material. He blogs about the history of Panama at The Silver People Chronicle