Building a Tule House
Adrian Jaycox
Troop 111, Fremont

My project was to build an Ohlone Indian tule house in the area between the classroom and the footbridge.  The house will be used to educate school groups and others about Ohlone life.  Building a tule house is not a simple project.  First, we cut the tule we would use as thatch for the house and laid it out to dry.  Then, we cut the willow and stripped the bark.  We used the bark as rope and the willow for the frame.  As for the thatch, we initially placed the tule against the house and kept it in place by wrapping additional willow poles around it.  However, at the upper levels, we had to make tule mats in order to keep them from falling to the ground.  We anchored layers of mats to the frame using willow poles, tule, and bark.  This was a project that tested my flexibility and leadership skills.  There’s no set way to make a tule house.

cutting tules framing the house

I would like to thank my parents, Karen and Jeff Jaycox, and Dr. Blueford, for supporting me and helping me figure out how to implement my project.  I would also like to thank my very dedicated helpers: Shiwen Chen, Justin Chew, Scott Dentinger, Charles Guan, Leona Zhu, Jiamei Deng, Justin Juan, Calvin Chen, Shubham Agrawal, James Ho, Timmy Tang, Stuart Rosete, Melinda Wang, Rebecca Wang, Chris Eliciomo, Bret Funcke, Zach Funcke, Whitney Lim, John Collan, Adrian Yip, Erika Reyes, and Bidisa Mukherjee.  Finally, I would like to thank the Lam Research employees who came to honor 9/11 and cut tules and made mats.  I could not have completed this project without all your support.

putting tules up binding tules

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