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Amerindian House

Structures Building Architecture

The first people that came to Antigua built no houses, for the Archaic people roamed from place to place looking for their life sustaining natural resources. Later when the Arawakan-speaking people arrived at about the time of Christ, they brought horticulture to Antigua and Barbuda for the first time. To tend their cassava crops it became necessary to settle. That was when houses and villages were first built in Antigua.

Amerindians Building

Balanced atop the house within the extensions of the roof poles was a large rock. This was supposed to bring luck to the inhabitants of the house. The Amerindians invented the hammock, which name is derived from the Arawakan word, "hamaca." Hammocks were slung from the central post to the round surrounding wall.

According to the first missionaries and to the results of archaeological excavations, Arawakan houses were round and measured about 12 feet across. Roofs were supported by a strong central post about 25ft high. This great height was necessary to make their roofs of thatch waterproof, for rainwater was able to run off fast with so steep a roof.