Thursday, December 28, 2006

This has to be the epitome of the prairie pioneer home. At least it is what lives in our imagination as the typical Oklahoman's first prairie home. Was it the typical home of the Oklahoma pioneer? Or is it what we imagine as the typical home? What truths about our predecessors are seen in this image? What lies do we overlook? I took this picture this last year on a trip to the Wichita Mountains. No-doubt it is an actual abandoned home, and it speaks to a rugged, determined and resourceful people. Lessons were learned from the prairie dog and the badger. By tucking themselves under the earth’s skin they were protected from the persistent winds and fluctuating temperature. I am struck by the simplicity and solid front of this dugout. I am intrigued by the earth that envelopes the dwelling. It is not accidental that the bricks are as red as the earth creeping around the side. The clay for the bricks is of the earth. The red brick acts as the prairie dog mound protecting against water and marking as a scar the location of home.