San Chay Ethnic Village

San Chay Ethnic Village – The Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism
San Chay Ethnic Village in the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism has an area of 0,41ha, in which the construction area is 190,24m2, including 02 houses on stilts (San Chay people is called the bull house and female buffalo house)

The stilt house – according to the concept of San Chay people – takes the symbol of “Buffalo god”. Photo: DK

The San Chay Ethnic Group’s houses have strange characteristics in the space organization and plan form. The house on stilts is considered as the typical house of San Chay people with thatch-covered roof and surrounding fence made of bamboo. San Chay people think that the stilt houses have the symbol of “Buffalo god”. According to the classification of Cao Lan people (one of the San Chay people group), there are two kinds of stilt houses which are “bull houses” and “female buffalo houses”. The criteria to distinguish these two kinds are mainly based on the truss structure. The bull house is the spare because the truss of bull houses has three columns: one main column against the truss cap and two auxiliary columns at tow sides. The columns are linked with each other by a double truss and floor beam. However, to expand the house heart, the people add the auxiliary columns into four trusses or five columns. The longitudinal column alignment is also connected similarly to that of female house truss. The four roof-houses have equal area and are covered with thatches. For the female buffalo house, the rafter has four columns. The columns are connected by the truss set and floor beam without crossbeam and tie-beam while the rafters are connected with each other by longitudinal beams. The frame of San Chay house is simple but very firm.

The plan layout of San Chay house is quite unique; the arrangement of bull house and female buffalo house is similar. Before entering the house, cross a low floor. When entering the main door, an area for the kitchen will be seen. There is a bran basket nearby the kitchen to incense the House God. This form is only found in San Chay House.

Crossing the kitchen space, there is a small room in front which is partitioned by bamboo screen a little higher than people head. At the left room corners, the floor is higher than the main floor about 40 cm as a bed for the guests and householders. The other rooms are for householder’s wife and children, crop storehouse. The floor in house is heightened somewhere to put foods such as corns and peanut on. The front side has an open floor. The bamboo stand below is the place to dry paddies, rice or clothes and wash hands and feet before entering the house. There are small holes on the main door to drive the wood bars in. The purpose of these bars is to prevent fierce animals and bed people from entering the house. The space under the floor is used to lock buffalo, cow, pig and chicken. Pig is locked individually in the small cells depending on each type (porker, sow and piglet) so that it becomes convenient to feed them by the specific portion.