The primal residence– the slashing pillar of Oroqen Ethnic Group

“The slashing pillar” belongs to Oroqen language and the meaning is “wooden pole horse”. It is a kind of simple coniform house that is built by using twenty or thirty wooden poles of five or six meters long and the fell or bark of birch. The build of slashing pillar is very simple: first, use several wooden poles, which have branches on top and can occlude with each other, to prop up a coniform framework with the slope of 60 degree. Then, put other wooden poles on the framework with proportional spacing to form an umbrella-shaped framework. Cover the fell of roes or bark of birch and at last, a “slashing pillar” is built, which can shelter from rain in summer and keep out the cold in winter. There should be lacuna left on the ceiling of the house, to let out smoke when making a fire and to let in the light. There should be a door left in the south or southeast part of the house. The dress of the slashing pillar should be changed as the seasons change. In winter, because of the frigid weather, the house is mostly covered by fell of roes. To cover the house, fifty or sixty pieces of roe fell are needed. In spring when the weather becomes warmer, the dress can be changed to bark of birch. When employing bark of birch, we should take off the external hardback   layer and put the internal soft layer into the boiler for braising, to make it softer and tougher. Then, use horsetail or tendon thread of deer and elk to sew the small barks up to form several large pieces. The dress should be covered from bottom to top, one layer upon another, and be fixed on the wooden poles by pitons and straps in the corner. In winter, the slashing pillar is mostly built on the lee of hills with a sunny exposure while in summer, it is mostly built on the place with high physiognomy and good breeze.

The inner furnishings of the slashing pillar are very simple and mainly are the beds for sleeping. There are two kinds of beds: one is the shakedown which is made by directly laying wood, hay, bark of birch and fell of roes on the ground. The other is the doss that is made by erecting wooden stake to set up a bed. In a slashing pillar, people can sleep on the three sides and one side is left for door. In the middle of the house, there is a fire for warm and an iron boiler on the fire, which can be used to prepare a meal.

The framework of the slashing pillar is very simple and is easy to remove and build. The materials are very easy to get, which is the outcome of Oroqen’s hunting life. Besides, the other traditional residence of Oroqen is the “Mukeleng” house built with logs. After the settlement, the Oroqen began to live in the tile or concrete structured houses that are spacious and bright. Those traditional mobile houses are only built temporarily in winter to shelter from cold, when the Oroqen go out for hunting.