Door Drum

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Corral Door, near Tizi Oussem, Morocco

On a ridge in the High Atlas Mountains a Berber family has built a strong corral for their livestock. A discarded 55 gallon drum is the crowning touch.

This is a brief story of survival.

The rest of the corral wall is made from material available on the mountainside. Stones were either picked up or pried out of the cracked bedrock and hauled into place. They are stacked without mortar.

There is no road so the only access is by foot. Supplies are carried by mule. It is a long walk to a market village. The path is well worn.

There is no house here. There is a small stone shelter for the livestock.

There are very few trees in the arid High Atlas Mountains. Wood is not readily available but the corral needed a durable door.

A 55 gallon steel drum becomes nearly worthless to people in wealthy industrialized countries when the petroleum or chemicals are used up. Around the world these discarded drums provide building materials for shelter and even musical instruments.

This Berber family cut open a drum and hammered it flat. It was combined with other scrap metal and a few branches to form the door that protects their wealth-their livestock.

I am not sure what the purpose of the brush on top of the wall is, perhaps just decoration.

Along the trails in these mountains you come across these stone corrals and shelters. There are no habitations within miles. This is the domain of shepherds who roam the mountains with their mules, goats, and sheep.

These are quiet places. But these structures help families survive. It is an ancient existence without many material possessions.




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