BUILT in 1885, the Mud House Museum at Siparia Old Road in Avocat gives visitors an insight into East Indian history. The house, made of mud, shows the actual dwelling houses of the early settlers in the area. The 22-inch walls and the floors are kept firm with a mixture of dirt and goobhar (cow manure). The Mud House Museum will be opened to the public on Sunday from 1 pm.
Curator of the museum, Rajwantee Bullock, who is also a councillor with the Siparia Regional Corporation said maintaining and preserving the building to keep it in its original form requires a lot of work. “The floor and walls must be kept together by constant leepaying,” Bullock said.
“This process involves getting fresh dirt and mixing this with manure before it is spread over the existing surface.”
Aditionally, she said, the grass around the house has to be cut, and the utensils in the museum need to be washed or dusted on a fourth-nightly basis.
“The Mud House Museum gives visitors a moment to reflect into the past and get the actual feel of living in a house made from mud,” she said. The design of the roof allows the hot air to rise and escape through the top, giving way to the cool air.
“This is a unique feature in the mud house as there is a constant movement of air allowing the cool breeze to stay within the house,” she said.
The Mud House Museum was refurbished and opened on Indian Arrival Day by Indian High Commissioner Biswadip Dey. Also present at this opening was Dr Leslie-Ann Jordan-Miller, lecturer in Hospitality and Tourism at the University of the West Indies.
MP for Fyzabad Dr Lackram Bodoe said the mud house was a vision of Fyzabad couple, the late Dr Ramcoomair Chatoor and his wife, Irene. Bodoe said Chatoor’s mother Taitree Chatoor was a cocoa proprietor. At that time, cocoa was the chief peasant crop and it was cultivated by peasants who lived in small huts made of tapia or wood, thatched with palm leaves.
Bullock said the public is invited to visit the Mud House Museum for an art exhibition En Plein Air (French for in the open air).