mat-house, noun

Origin:
South African DutchShow more Translation of South African Dutch matjieshuis, see matjieshuisie.
historical
A beehive-shaped temporary shelter consisting of poles planted in the ground in a circle and drawn together at the top, and with rush mats stretched over them; matjieshuisie.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 7The situation of this little village..was exceedingly sheltered and rural:..enclosed by a rocky precipice, under which stood their mat-houses and the cattle-kraals.
1872 E.J. Dunn in A.M.L. Robinson Sel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 48A shed built of poles and reeds doing duty as a school-house, a ‘wattle and daub’ mansion for the Chief..and a score or so of the national ‘mat houses’ for the people, constitute the settlement.
1898 W.C. Scully Between Sun & Sand 2These people are dwellers in tents and bee-hive-shaped structures known as ‘mat-houses’, a form of architecture adopted from the Hottentots. The latter are constructed of large mats made of rushes strung upon strands of bark or other vegetable fibre, and are stretched over wattles stuck by the larger end into the ground in a circle, the diameter of which may vary from fifteen to twenty-five feet.
1907 W.C. Scully By Veldt & Kopje 230The only people I met were the few wandering Boers who lived in wagons and mat-houses and moved about on the track of the rains.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 312Mat house,..The temporary shelters used by natives and Boers when on trek.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 184Less enterprising families lived in ‘mat houses’, made of woven rushes on a light framework of poles.
1975 [see Steenkamp quot. at matjieshuisie].
A beehive-shaped temporary shelter consisting of poles planted in the ground in a circle and drawn together at the top, and with rush mats stretched over them; matjieshuisie.
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