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This site documents the construction of a California earth lodge inspired by Native American dwellings of the region. The structural plan of this lodge was based upon:

Information and pictures from "Indian Tales" by Jaime de Angulo  

  A description by Ishi in the book, "Ishi in Two Worlds" by Theodora Kroeber  

  Information from the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley  

As a reference for building other lodges, these notes were then primarily based upon the experience we gained building the 20 foot lodge. This was done in April, 1971 at Dutch Flat, California in the Sierras by a group of Berkeley High School students. The trip and the work was intended to enhance the sense of community of the group.

The scope of the these notes is very limited. The group was idealistic and respectful about what came before, but in no position to attain any kind of authenticity. What you'll learn is what a practical-minded modern group needed and studied and managed to do.

We were suiting unusual conditions: to build a dwelling we would love that we had to hide and leave on completion and could only visit periodically. We followed the sketchy guides we had so as not to reinvent the wheel. There may be many parallels between the original way and how we went at it.

Notes by Don Cochrane, leader of the Dutch Flat project (with Steven Soltar). Fleshed out from 1971 notes, Dec. 1986 to Jan. 1987. The text was revised in the spring of 2002.

The Dutch Flat trip was an activity of Project Community, Berkeley, California, Dr. William Soskin, Director. Project Community was sponsored by UC Berkeley's Dept. of Psychology; funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Copyright 2002, Don Cochrane