Other books byBonnie Shemie
Mounds of earth and shell
Much of what we know of life among the inhabitants of North America before the arrival of Europeans comes from mounds in the southeastern U.S. However, there is much debate among scholars about the findings. Excavations show sophisticated cities, large effigy mounds, centers of worship, and possibly, vast earthwork calendars. Objects found in the mounds and burial sites provide graphic information about how these ancient people lived.
Sitting so close to the United States, and with influences from France, Great Britain, Asia, and Europe, building styles in Canada are familiar but different, eclectic, and unique. Bonnie Shemie, who studied the houses of North America’s native peoples, has created a beautiful and informative volume that defines this country’s history and geography through its buildings. Among the styles that dot the landscape are Quebec’s maison Canadienne based on France’s peasant cottages, brightly painted homes of the Atlantic seaports, the sod houses, prefabricated buildings and false fronts that dominated the prairies, popular Ontario farm house design, Montreal’s famed duplexes with exterior staircases, and uniquely Canadian chateau-style hotels. Building Canada also looks at the importance of modern building materials, restoration efforts, and city planning. Complete with timeline and glossary.
Houses of wood
The Native peoples of the Northwest Coast were blessed with a mild climate, waters teeming with fish, and abundant vegetation, including giant cedars, among the world’s tallest and most versatile of trees. With only small handmade tools, these peoples managed to fell the massive trees, transport them back to their villages, build spectacular wooden dwellings, and embellish them with art admired the world over.
Houses of adobe
The longest enduring Native architecture in North America was built some three thousand years ago by the first peoples to roam the mountains and plateaus of the southwestern United States. From the ancient pit houses evolved the kiva and above-ground dwellings called pueblos by the Spanish because of their resemblance to the houses and courtyards in Spain. The biggest “great house,” called Pueblo Bonito, had 800 rooms, 32 kivas, housed a thousand people, and took years to build. How the people lived and adapted to their natural surroundings is described with a simple text, drawings, and colored illustrations.