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India > A village in Rajasthan

This is Sherpur, a village in Rajasthan. It is home to the Meena people, who have lived in this part of India since ancient times. The villages of the Meena people have picturesque white and ochre mud houses: these are often decorated with wall and floor paintings known as Mandana.

Did you know that half of the world's population lives in earth or mud buildings? A mud house is cheaper to build and offers better insulation than a brick and concrete house - it is cool in summer and warm in winter and is, therefore, more sustainable. In contrast, the production of cement for building is known to account for more than five per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Use the links in the right hand column to find out more about mud buildings.

India has a vast range of houses, buildings and architecture. Present a balanced view by showing pictures of city homes and buildings as well as village homes.


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1. A village street
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3. A cooking stove is built in a corner of the courtyard.
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7. Mandana art has been passed down over the centuries by mothers teaching their daughters to paint. They paint religious symbols as well a variety of animals, trees, and flowers highlighted with dots and dashes. Peacocks are often painted on the exterior walls.
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9. Mandana floor patterns are painted on the pavement outside homes
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10. Some people now live in brick houses. The cement exteriors, however, do not provide a canvas for the Mandana art in the way that traditional houses do.
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11. Many of the women in Sherpur work at the Dastkar women's co-operative across the road. Dastkar aims at improving the economic status of craftspeople and supporting traditional crafts.
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12. The women are skilled at sewing and embroidery. They enjoy working outdoors when the weather permits.
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13. This picture shows some of the items sold at the shop, such as handbags, decorations and household linen.
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14. The village is next to Ranthambore National Park, a famous tiger reserve. The park covers an area of 400 sq km of dry decidious forest. Many visitors to the reserve buy local crafts at the co-operative.
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15. A rare sight

 


 
Famous mud buildings
Advantages of mud houses
Mandana art
Dastkar
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