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Ulax

"Ulax" is the name of the traditional Aleut house style. It is more commonly known by its Russian name, barabara, which comes from an indigenous Siberian word for "house" and was used by Russian explorers to refer to any kind of native home. Other Aleut names for this kind of house include ulaq and ulas.

Ulax were made by digging an underground chamber and then raising a wooden or whalebone frame over it. The ulax frame was covered with woven grass mats and packed with layers of earth and sod to insulate it. Here is a picture of an ulax. Because these buildings were partly underground, they were larger than they appeared. There were multiple rooms in an ulax, and each one housed several families from the same clan.


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Here are links to our webpages about the Aleut tribe and language:

 Aleut language
 Aleut culture
 Aleuts
 Aleut vocabulary
 Aleut pronunciation
 Eskimo-Aleut language family
 Alaska Natives

Here are links to more Internet resources about ulax:
 Wikipedia: Barabara
 Unangan Ulax
 Cultural Change: The Barabara or Ulax
 Earth Lodges

And here are a few good books about the Aleuts:
 Aleut Identities: Tradition and Modernity
 Aleut Dictionary
 Aleut Tales and Narratives



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