Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reeds Only

With all that we have at our disposal, seeing beauty created by necessity and creativity with the most basic of ingredients amazes me.

Sunday evening I happened to catch 60 Minutes' episode of Resurrecting Eden, in which Scott Pelley visited the people living in Iraq on the section of land between the between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The ancient civilization is known as the "Marsh Arabs," also called the Ma'dan, inhabiting where many scholars believe the Garden of Eden existed.  
(The segment was covering the slaughter of the people there by Saddam Hussein, when he diverted the water from the rivers by building six canals to take the water out into the desert and the Persian Gulf, thus emptying the maze of waterways- and the civilization's way of life.)

What I found particularly striking were the huts, called mudhifs, that the people create entirely out of reeds, an ancient, primitive practice.

The reeds are collected, dried, bound together and assembled for each home.

Woven mats cover the tops and floor.

Before the swamps and waterways were wiped out after the 2001 Gulf war, they looked like this.

Fifty percent of the water has been restored to the areas, with plans for an eco-tourism camp in the marshes to open next March to bring attention to the plight of these people.

Just amazing.

[1, 2-15]


  1. I had to laugh at the word "Huts" when looking at the beautiful weaving on the front and the appearance of the interior. What beautiful structures these are!! Sorry I missed this feature on 60 min.

  2. We did not see this on 60 minutes. How amazing!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. what amazing weaving and design work that goes into these lovely dwellings...love that 60 mins has shown this bit of life to us...

  4. Hi Annie,
    Those huts are amazing, and green!
    XXX Ido

  5. These are lovely, river reed is such an amazing material. Of course it is still used here for roofing but I had no idea what other wonders can be done with it. Quite exquisite.

  6. This is simply just amazing!! I love it! Would love to see all in 'nature'.

    Beautiful post, Ann, thanks!

    Just having a quick break from the churches, will read all your recent posts over the weekend, hopefully.
    Greetings, karin



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