Banco, kiva, and vigas at the Pecan House
Thick, thick walls made of earth and water and straw
connected to the earth they were made from
the same color as the garden soil.
the firmness of bricks underfoot
kiva fireplace burning fragrant wood
bancos to sit on
vigas and latillas up above
nichos in the walls.
A peaceful quiet, held and contained.
Warm in winter
cool in summer
windows looking out at desert willows and cottonwoods
and maybe some hollyhocks.
A strong sense of shelter.
I wrote these words for a post back in 2007 that remembered the little Las Cruces adobe home we owned back in the late 1990s. Meant to describe the feeling of living within adobe walls, they will serve as an introduction to some of the terms used for the features of an adobe home.
bancos: low earthen benches, built into the walls for seating
kiva fireplace: a rounded adobe fireplace, built into the corner of a room
vigas: round wooden beams, used for ceiling support
latillas: small saplings placed across vigas (ceiling beams) to form a ceiling
nicho: a built-in niche for a statue
For more photographs of these and other terms pertaining to an adobe home, see the Su Casa Visual Dictionary of Southwestern Style.