Sunday, January 30, 2005

Architectural motifs

One can see similarities in architecture and motifs over these vast areas that seems to indicate rather continuous contacts. The interaction was probably linked with the Nusantao trade activity to some extent.

One example is the stave church of the north. Built in a manner similar to Viking ships with all wood joints and no nails. The tongue and groove method is employed. They resemble to a great extent Batak traditional architecture. The stave church is suspended on a low post base protected from soil rot by placement on stones. In the same way, the piles of a Batak home are placed on stones.

Both tend to be tiered and decorated with finials. The frames are pre-fabricated with the rest of the structure then built over the frames.

Model of Batak home

Fantoft stave church, Norway

The decorative motives in northern Europe going back at least to early Pictish times included the strong use of spirals and serpent/dragon coils. We see these also in the east starting at least by the Jomon and Neolithic periods.

The Picts also built houses on piles like the early pile dwellings of Italy, and some of these were suspended over water. The name "pict" refers to the tattoos painted over the entire body by these people.

Serpentine design from Urnes stave church

Borgun stave church

Batak house

Batak house during World War II

Beams of Batak house

Maori taihu canoe prow

Maori taurapa

Gold neck rings, Celtic La Tene culture

Jomon design

Jomon markings

Maori tattoo

Dragon coil on Dongson axe

The "Pictish Beast" entwined from Scotland

Recreation of a Pictish crannog home

Paul Kekai Manansala