Noticing how quickly the macuti and pau a pique houses are disappearing, Fefé and I decided to make a quick registration of the houses which are left and document the more interesting specimen in more detail for the future. Here is a selection of photos of houses which may represent the “typical” Ilha macuti house, a traditional impermanent construction strentgthened to last longer with stones, lime and earth mix, and finally plastered with limewash and decorated around the windows in styles inspired by Portuguese and Indian craftsmen working in the “stone and limewash” part of town.
An idea has been thrown up to establish a prize for the best kept macuti house in Ilha to encourage to keep and value the house type now disappearing – and maybe come up with new ways to maintain and renovate the construction full of mangrove sticks now prohibited for exploitation due to ecosystems under pressure. Maybe other innovations inspired by the traditional techniques could be developed as alternatives to cement blocks as the only viable construction method today? Some potential candidates for the macuti “beauty contest” (aka houses with high architectonic conservation value) above.