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THE EFFECT OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ON RURAL SETTLEMENTS IN MOUNTAINOUS REGION - Research Paper Example

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Abstract Every natural environment is found to have an impact on the civilization that inhabits it and studies on mountainous regions all over the world have substantiated this claim. The impact of natural environment can be seen on the architecture, life and culture of mountainous regions…
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THE EFFECT OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ON RURAL SETTLEMENTS IN MOUNTAINOUS REGION
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THE EFFECT OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ON RURAL SETTLEMENTS IN MOUNTAINOUS REGION

Download file to see previous pages... Nature also influences the activities of these people in that the major vocation is cattle rearing an agro-forestry. The attitudes of the people are also supposed to be affected by the natural surroundings as people have limited expectations from life, which imparts a slower pace to life. Last but not least, the cultural attributes of mountain people is also a reflection of their natural ambience, which imparts color to their visual arts and costumes, adds distinctness to their folk culture and food habits, and also make them a distinct ecologically sensitive civilization. But all these factors also have contributed to mountain people being more vulnerable to the exploitation attempts by outsiders. THE EFFECT OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ON RURAL SETTLEMENTS IN MOUNTAINOUS REGION Introduction Nature has a tendency to mold the life of the humans who inhabit it. In history, special traits have been attributed to specific groups of people inhabiting a specific geographical landscape. Natural surroundings of a people have been found to have an impact on their food, clothing, housing, social bonding, economy, culture and attitudes. Thus nature becomes an all-encompassing presence that gives meaning and definition to the lives of humans. It is in this context that the influence of nature on the rural settlements in mountainous regions is investigated here. Architecture It is observed that the typical character in the architecture of mountainous regions is that “the lack of technology is substituted by creativity and through trial and error in using available materials and basic building structures” (Habitat, 2001, pp.3). This is evident when we find that in mountain areas, people use stones more in constructing their houses because that is the most easily available material around (Habitat, 2001, pp.23). Another feature is that very little mortar is used in bonding the stones used to build the walls, which make them provide very good thermal control (Habitat, 2001, pp.23). But a negative aspect of such stonewalls is that they prone to easy destruction by natural forces (Habitat, 2001, pp.23). To cope with the “contour layout” of the land, the houses in mountainous regions are usually arranged in a semicircular design (Habitat, 2001, pp.8). Mud brick or brick are used in construction because mud is the cheapest building material available (Habitat, 2001, pp.8). A house using these materials is also conducive for the cool climate of mountainous areas. By placing the houses along the valleys, the damage from wind is minimized and also more sunlight falls on the houses so that people can cope with the cool climate (Habitat, 2001, pp.10). In the study conducted by Habitat (2001) in Northern Iraq, it was found that houses were constructed facing southwards so that they get maximum sunlight (pp.10). The contour design is also useful in preventing landslides and allowing drainage of excess water during rains (Habitat, 2001, pp.12). This design, which is defined as “housing aggregation” becomes necessary also because such a structure is more convenient to defend, when there is an outside threat (Habitat, 2001, pp.10). The Kurdistan province of North West Iran is another example of a mountainous dwelling place (Bahrami, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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