Friday, 30-January-2015 12:21
 
comments in
"Culture"
Qudd -The Traditional Yemeni Plaster
Are all these beautiful things in YEMEN really! They are wonderful.Now I am eager to see it
The Origin of the Name Aden
it is a little bit nice , but the artical did not give a clear , logic meaning . in my part , i do ...
Culture
Saturday, 12-November-2005
Almotamar Net - Qudd is an ancient water-proofing plaster that has been used for many millennia in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in Yemen where it probably originated. The earliest example of qudd is found on .. Almotamar Net -
by Selma Al-Radi

[Qudd is an ancient water-proofing plaster that has been used for many millennia in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in Yemen where it probably originated. The earliest example of qudd is found on the sluices of the famous Marib Dam which dates to the 8th century B.C. (Pl.1). The dam went through many building phases, the latest of which was in the 5th century A.D. Most of the qudd on the Marib Dam should be dated to that century; probably only the lowest sections belong to the early First Millennium B.C.(1) Qudd is also preserved on a number of other pre-Islamic South Arabian dams and monuments. It continues to be used throughout the Islamic Period in Yemen as an impermeable plaster on cisterns, canals, and baths, as a roofing material, and as a protective plaster on exterior facades of monumental buildings such as forts, mosques, madrasas (Pl.2) and palaces. Qudd can only be used as a plaster on buildings constructed of stone and baked brick, it will not adhere to mudbrick, cement blocks or concrete.

A similar plaster, more or less identical toqudd , is found in the Indian subcontinent - probably introduced from Yemen. It is also used as a protective coat on the exterior facades of buildings. The earliest examples I have been able to find in India date to the medieval Islamic Period, a time when there was massive trade between the two countries.(2) By the 17th century qudd had spread from Yemen, Oman and India to the East African Coast, where Mombasa, Lamu, Zanzibar and other towns began to use it. Qudd makes a particularly efficaceous protective coating in that wet, humid and hot climate, keeping the walls of houses, palaces and forts dry.

Qudd was, and still is, an expensive, labour-intensive and time consuming process that cannot be hurried. When cement was introduced to Yemen some 25 years ago, it came as a boon to constructors who wanted to build quickly and cheaply ; thus, qudd was set aside. When restoration projects were first initiated in Yemen in the early 1980's only a few stonemasons remembered the exact mixtures and precise procedures for making qudd . Experimentation was necessary before it was possible to determine the correct ratio for the ingredients and the time required for doing each step of the process. It is now possible to say that qudd is alive and flourishing, and that many workers have been trained in the process of its application.(3)

Qudd is made up of two basic ingredients, nra, or lime, and an aggregate, such as fine sand or riverine pebbles, which are mixed together into a mortar, and applied in three-to-five layers to the surface that has to be protected. In the volcanic regions of Yemen volcanic cinders are used instead of sand or pebbles; this apparently makes the final product more durable. Since volcanic cinder-cones can be found in most regions of Yemen, volcanic cinders are the most common aggregate used for making qudd .

Qudd is made as follows:

1. Good quality lime which is freshly fired must be obtained. Stale lime should not be used as it is inactive. (4) The lime is slaked in water for a period of at least two weeks for normal surfaces. During this period the lime must be constantly turned and the water topped up; it must not be allowed to dry out. The slaking should be prolonged if the lime is required for finer finishes such as carved mouldings or panels (Pl.7,8), sometimes for as long as two to three months until it reaches the consistency of a sticky dough.

2. While the lime is being slaked the surface to be covered with qudd can be prepared. A roof surface takes time to prepare. The temporary mud plaster that protected the roofing material (the wooden beams, twigs, etc.) until it settled - up to six months - must be partially scraped off and small stones roughly embedded into it (Pl.5:a). Any surface to which qudd is applied has to be completely settled and stable or else it will develop cracks when it shifts, since qudd has no give. Just before the roof receives its first layer of qudd it has to be dowsed with water. The preparation for a wall facade is slightly different. The wall has to be washed free of any dust, and the bricks or stones have to be articulated so that the first layer of qudd can adhere in the crevices.

3. The aggregate to be used, the pebbles, sand or cinders, must be cleaned and washed down; dust or sand particles weaken the mixture. The two ingredients are mixed together in a ratio of two parts of aggregate to one part of lime. They are blended together with water and pounded with a long shovel or wooden paddle (Pl.4:a). The required consistency is achieved when the particulate matter in the mixture has reached a size pertinent to the layer in which it belongs. For the lowest layer, the mixture has to be crude and rough, with the particles as large as corn kernels, so that it can adhere better to the prepared surface (Pl.3). The middle layers require a smoother texture, so more lime is added to the mixture and the ratio changed to half lime half aggregate. The most superficial levels require a further adjustment; for them the ratio is changed to one part aggregate to two parts lime, and pounded to a fine paste (Pl.5:a).

4. The first layer of qudd must be about two inches thick. It is applied and worked between the pebbles, into the cracks and interstices of the surface below it, until it adheres properly. This is done with the help of a sharp-edged stone, a riverine pebble that has to be slightly larger than a fist, which is repeatedly banged down on the mixture (Pl.4:b-c). This pounding process has to be done continuously for at least three or four days, then the next layer can be added. The task is boring and easy on a horizontal surface, but when the surface is vertical the procedure is much more complicated. The qudd has to be literally hurled at the wall facade and quickly worked into the crevices between the bricks or stones; it falls down as fast as it is thrown and has to be reapplied. It is only by dint of continuous application and pounding that the qudd eventually starts to stick to the surface of the wall (Pl.4:c). The first layer is the most difficult one to do. It is also the most wasteful, although a careful, traditional craftsman will see to it that a good deal of the fallen qudd is gathered up at the end of the day and reused as a filler in building walls.

5. Each layer has to be worked and pounded for at least three or four days until it adheres and becomes one with the layer below it. The qudd has to be kept moist at all times; it must never be allowed to dry out. After working hours it has to be checked to see that it remains wet. A watery lime solution is the best agent for keeping qudd moist; a bucket full of this mixture should always be on hand (Pl.6).

6. Three or four layers of qudd have to applied to a surface that is exposed to the elements; facades in an interior courtyard or bath will need less. Whereas two inches of qudd are adequate for an interior wall, a minimum thickness of four inches is needed to protect an external facade. A roof or merlons will require anywhere from five to six inches of protective qudd covering (Pls.5:a,9).

7. Once the right thickness has been achieved, and the qudd layers are firmly and securely damped down and smoothed, the next stage can begin. This consists of polishing or rather burnishing the surface of the qudd with a smooth, riverine pebble until it attains a hard, marble-like quality. Using the full weight of the hand, and pressing down on the pebble and moving it either in a circular or in an up and down rythmic motion, the surface is rubbed and burnished (Pls.5:b,6). Again the qudd has to be kept moist at all times with a watery lime wash; this can be sprinkled on the qudd with a small broom (Pl.6). Burnishing is the most important phase of the qudd work. The work is painstakingly monotonous but perseverance is essential. Morning and evening work shifts have to be organized lest hair-line cracks appear. Each evening when work stops care must be taken to wet the surface of the qudd so that it stays moist until the next morning's shift. This is especially vital for the first four or five days. After that the qudd can be polished twice a day. This twice daily polish must be kept up for a period of three or four days. Burnishing then decreases to once a day, then once every two days, and this frequency has to be maintained for at least two to three weeks. The physical appearance of the qudd must be scrutinised carefully each day for cracks. If any hair-line fractures appear then polishing has to be increased and prolonged. In fact, polishing and burnishing can only cease when no cracks, not even the faintest of hair-lines, can be seen, and when the surface develops the appearance and sheen of marble. The time needed for the burnishing phase must be judged by the master craftsman on site. It cannot take less than a month; six weeks would probably be a more likely estimate.

8. The qudd is then left to dry, a process that can take up to two months depending on the season of the year.(5) The qudd should be checked regularly in case cracks appear, if they do then burnishing has to be resumed. If no cracks appear during this drying-out period then the last stage can be carried out.

9. The final process consists of applying a coat of animal fat, usually beef fat (preferably marrow), on the finished surface. The fat has to be melted down and smeared on the surface of the qudd (usually done with a bit of sheep-skin) - it is a smelly and unpleasant process. This fatty coating provides a temporary, water-proof seal that prevents the fresh qudd from flaking during the first monsoon rains; after that it can take care of itself.

10. Qudd takes up to a full year to set properly and finally (Pl.2). It becomes progressively harder with age, and with care and periodic maintenance it can remain in good condition for centuries, if not millennia.
Comments:
Pamella Grecel (Guest)
16-11-2005
Are all these beautiful things in YEMEN really! They are wonderful.Now I am eager to see it

More from "Culture"

Other titles:
Tuesday, 27-January-2015
The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Yemen has revealed that the political powers representatives reiterated their commitment to continue their consultations to end the political crisis in Yemen.

Jamal Benomar made the statement after a meeting held on Monday with representatives of the political forces signatories to the Peace and National Partnership Agreement (PNPA).
Monday, 26-January-2015
Two terrorists were killed in a foiled attack on a military site belonging to the 115th Infantry Brigade in Khanfar district of Abyan province, a military source said Monday.

A number of the attackers were injured during repelling the attack and the rest escaped, leaving their weapons, the source added.
Sunday, 25-January-2015
The board of the House of Representatives (Parliament) has postponed the parliament's emergency meeting initially scheduled for Sunday.

The meeting was delayed until "another date to be set later," the house's board said.

It said the postponement aimed at allowing more time to "inform all members of the parliament to attend."
Saturday, 24-January-2015
The Speaker of Parliament Yahya al-Raei arrived in Riyadh Air Base on Saturday at head of Yemeni official delegation to offer condolences on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

King Abdullah, who had ruled since 2005 and was said to be aged about 90, died early on Friday.
Saturday, 24-January-2015

A Yemeni delegation led by Speaker of the Parliament Yahya al-Raei headed to the Saudi capital Riyadh on Saturday to offer condolences on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

King Abdullah, who had ruled since 2005 and was said to be aged about 90, died early on Friday after a short illness.
Wednesday, 21-January-2015
Congress (GPC) and its allies are still asking for the the outputs of the national dialogue conference that agreed upon the agreement of peace and partnership and the importance of a quick working on the implementation of the four points in the speech of Mr. AbdulMalik Badr al-Din al-Houthi yesterday. He added that the points have been agreed upon in the peace agreement and partnership that signed by all parties in order to take out of the Yemen political tension and to avoid violence and bloodshed
Tuesday, 20-January-2015
The Arab League called on Tuesday all the political parties to immediately stop and reject all forms of violence.

Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmad bin Hali said in a press statement the secretariat is following up with great interest the developments in Yemen, and carrying out calls in order to assist containing the crisis.

He also urged all parties to support efforts exerted by President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi in accordance with the Peace and Partnership Agreement that based on the National Dialogue Conference (NDC)'s outputs in order to ensure Yemen's security and stability.

From another hand, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs appealed the political components to hold their responsibilities in contributing to achieve stability and peace in the country
Tuesday, 20-January-2015
The Government has called all the political parties that signed the Peace and Partnership Agreement to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning.

The meeting would be chaired by President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi and attended by bodies of the Parliament and the Shura Council.
Monday, 19-January-2015
Interior Minister Jalal al-Rowaishan affirmed on Monday a ceasefire came into force between ' Ansar Allah ' and Presidential Security Brigades in Sana'a as of 4:30 p.m.

The decision was made by a Presidential Committee includes the Defense and Interior Ministers, Special Security Forces Commander and President adviser Saleh al-Sammad.
Saturday, 17-January-2015
The five detained fishermen by the Sudanese government returned home on Saturday after being seized for four months because of entering Sudan's territorial waters without prior permission.

The fishermen expressed their appreciation to the efforts of the Yemeni government and ambassador in Khartoum for releasing and returning them home.

who we are     |    Advertising     |    contact us
All rights reserved © Almotamar Net, Developed by