Original Troje from Michoacan, Mexico
Dimensions: 18ft x 18ft
Over 100 years old, and built in the early 1900s, this wood building is a traditional house of the Meseta Purepecha Native Americans.
These homes, called trojes, are made of heavy, hand-hewn, thick pine beams. Traditionally, no metal elements, such as nails or screws, were used. Even the tejamanil (flat pine boards/shingles) ceiling was attached with the thorns from the Tejocote Tree.
Generally lacking windows, and having only one door, sometimes the troje displayed a front porch (like the one here, at DeMejico).
One of the special features of the troje, was its ease of assembly and disassembly.
It could be broken down, moved and re-erected in a single day.
Friends and family would join together to erect a troje, celebrating its finish with a celebratory meal.
Some studies consider the troje to be the intersecting point between pre-Hispanic and Colonial life.
The name troje refers to its principal function to "preserve or guard", and the term is derived from the Spanish influence dominating the region.
The name, troje, is also applied to barns.
Each room of a troje is separate from every other room. The kitchen, living quarters, sleeping and storage rooms are all individual, small buildings.
The largest is generally built closest to the road, protecting an altar which houses religious images, candles and flowers. Other trojes were built as needed, to house new families on the land.
The trojes appear among trees in large open areas. These open spaces and wooded areas were used for a great variety of daily activities.
Different types of trojes were made of adobe and rock, also distinguishing traditional architecture. Some contained two and four rooms, one of which was used as a kitchen. Sometimes the floors were tamped dirt, although plank or concrete was preferred. The roof was wooden, with exposed beams under the eaves, carved columns and doors.
Just a few months ago, DeMejico's troje was used as an actual home for a Purepecha Family, in Michoacan, Mexico.
Today, many Purepecha continue to live in trojes, in small villages isolated from cultures other than their own.