Living off the land, indigenous people learnt to use the available materials for fulfilling their needs, particularly in important areas like building houses.
Stone was always good, but tricky for roofing. Restio and grass proved promising from the early days, challenging resourcefulness in construction methods. Many plant species could and have been used, availability always a feature of suitability, sometimes stimulating imagination into problem solving. Tying the stems together to resist wind and defy rain was a problem finding several solutions. Similarly, constructing overhead supports to uphold roofing material was mastered in many ways with ingenuity.
Knowledge and technology explosions have subsequently brought such transformation that it is easy to believe the old ways have become totally obsolete… or could that be wrong?
Over time best solutions in the quaintest old architectural styles and building materials, temporarily discarded, even for long periods, have reappeared. This time not at the rudimentary end of the range, but at the other end, the top and artistic end of the building spectrum. Longing for beauty that was lost, some roof shapes and materials from cultural heritage of tribes and eras long gone are being looked at again, now used with collective knowledge, packing punch from resources and ingenuity.
Crazes, sometimes cyclic, add to collective learning and renewal of the global village, so steeped in (almost) unlimited cultural interconnection and cross-pollination. Borrowing ideas across continents is reinforced by tourism; strangers from the other side of the earth walk here, kindling ideas for projects far away; and vice versa.
The nameless, humble inventors of the past, written off as primitive by their own distant offspring, become noted in absentia by visitors from afar, from everywhere. They would never have dreamt that their small step innovations and small-scale handiwork would travel so far in minds across space and time.
The possibilities for sparks of inspiration from something as simple as the thatching practices invented by primitives with access to so little should inspire at least some open minds with access to so much. Look at the restios among the rocks and pause; think like a primitive.