Expert thatchers have been brought in to help residents building a replica of 17th century Carter House, Samantha Alves reports for Bermuda’s Royal Gazette.
Native Americans Tazwell Bowlsky and Val Deer of ACE Thatching & Bamboo Inc in Florida were called in to help with the historic build in St David’s.
Their expertise is being used to nail sage palm leaves to the building’s beams in other parts of the world it is common to weave the palm leaves together to create the actual roof.
Said Mr Deer: “Each sage palm produces up to about ten leaves suitable for thatching. Each leaf is hand picked and once complete the roof will last for up to nine years. It will take about 750 leaves to make this roof.
“This type of thatching is absolutely waterproof once complete and leaves the interior of the house ten degrees cooler than a modern-day house.”
The tradition of thatching has long been passed down in the Native American community with the firstborn son in each family taught the skill. The last-born daughter is taught should no sons be born.
Once taught it is expected that children use the skill to provide for their family.
Construction of the house has been underway for about four months, with the assistance of volunteers. The walls and roof are yet to be completed.
The replica is being erected in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the settlement in Bermuda.
In 1612 the Plough arrived here carrying 60 passengers, including our first Governor, Richard Moore.
The house is being built in the same style as Carter House was, using the same materials that would have been available then.
The frame of the house was constructed from raw tree trunks and mortar was made from clays found around Bermuda.
Brainchild of Rick Spurling, this house will eventually become a one-room museum similar to Carter House, which is situated nearby.
For the original report go to http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20120720/NEWS/707209962