Roof Thatching

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Thatched roofs are the main method of roofing found in the communities of Papua New Guinea. They are made from layered bundles of cane, grass, and leaves tied onto roof supports. This directs rain water off the sides of the roof (see Figure 1). The fires made inside the house play a vital role in preserving the roof thatch. Eventually, the entire inside of the roof is preserved by the smoke, preventing decay. A space is left between the roof line and the top of the walls to allow for ventilation (see Figure 2). Firewood is stored in the support beams that run the length of the house so that it can be dried by fires built underneath. This type of roof is used primarily because it utilizes materials that are readily available can easily be repaired.