view of house on a hill

Stanford Historian's Research Paper
~ Printable version
~ pdf version 46kb

Adobe Mud
House Timeline
Honoring Juana
Not Just For Kids

The Juana Briones Heritage Foundation

Not Just For Kids
What’s the big deal about mud?

Digging in the ground is a way to find out about history.  Ask an adult to show you a place it’s ok to dig, then grab a shovel or trowel and get started.

  • Dig enough dirt to fill a cottage cheese container
  • Add 1 handful of sand
  • Add enough water to make it workable

If you can roll your earthen adobe mixture into a snake, and then bend the snake into a circle without the snake breaking, then you have dirt that has a high percentage of adobe clay.  Experiment with different mixtures---maybe add some dry straw. See what you get.

Juana Used Mud too!

Juana mixed the clay with straw and sand to get an earthen building material and then pushed and packed the clay inside a wooden frame to make the walls strong when it dried.

Juana Briones built her house using adobe clay that is the mud found beneath your feet in many areas of California. There are houses all over the world built using mud.

two muddy kids











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