Building an Ohlone Tule Hut

 
by
Adithya Palle
Troop 110, Fremont


 I am Adithya Palle from Troop 110 and, with my troop, I constructed the Tule House at Tule Ponds in Fremont. The Tule House was a very rigorous project that took much more time than we expected, but in the end, we were able to finish it through teamwork and determination. The project consists of 3 parts, constructing the frame, cutting and drying tules, and then attached the tules to the frame to make layers around the house. Construction of the frame began on the weekend of June 27 and was finished on the following weekend. This step consisted of digging out holes for the frame, cutting down willows, planting and cementing the willows in the ground, and llashing and bending them together to form the dome shape. On the following weekends, we focused on cutting Tules and attaching the layers at the same time, but realized it would be much more effective if we simply cut tules first and then attached the layers. After Tules are cut, they must be dryed for one week before they can be attached to the house. Cutting tules was definitely the most tedious part of the project as we needed thousands to complete all the layers that were added. After the tules were ready to be placed on, we held the tules against frame of the house, and clipped them in place using more willow branches. We did this process at 3 different levels on the frame to make 3 separate layers. One of the most difficult parts of the project was flattening the final layer at the top and  attaching a cap to give the house a nice, rounded look. After all of this was done, we attached a door frame at the entrance for aesthetic purposes and cleaned up areas around the house while adding some finishing details. On August 1, 2020 we finished up the Tule House.


   cutting tules making holes for support

This project took 10 workdays that were on average 6 hours long to complete with an average of 8 workers everyday. I would like to thank all the adults and scouts of Troop 110 who spent dozens of hours working on this project till its completion. Thank you to: Mr. and Mrs. Autenreith, Bailey Autenreith, Trevor Autenreith, Mr. Oates, Ethan O Neil, Lalith Sasubilli, Mr. Sasubilli, Ayush Sharma, Mr. Sharma, Vedh Janardhanan, Suchir Sreevathsa, Mr. Sreevathsa, Tilak Patel, Aariv Iyengar, Ben Weavil, Nick Weavil, Raghav Karra, Mr. Karra, Neil Shah, Mr. Shah, and Shiva Palle.
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                    securing structure finishing roof

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