Getuigen van de Arubaanse geschiedenis en identiteit | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2468-2187
  • E-ISSN: 2468-2195


Testimonials of Aruban history and heritage: the kunuku houses and cas floria

On the island of Aruba, traditional houses are often decorated with unique symbols. Houses with these decorations are called ‘cas floria’, meaning decorated house. The origin for this style of building and the meaning of the symbols presumably stem from the culture of the native inhabitants of Aruba (Indians). Over the course of time, the Dutch colonial power had influence on the residential culture on Aruba. They introduced stone houses and building materials such as roof tiles and cement. The native population gradually started replacing their loam houses for stone versions. In the 19th century, the building style of cas floria arose. These houses were found mostly in the historic native settlements. For the colonial settlers, these symbols had no special meaning and so they did not live in decorated houses. Nowadays, a lot of cas floria and traditional kunuku houses have become ruins. However, many of those historic houses have remained and are still inhabited to this day. The Monumentenbureau Aruba has been lobbying with the Aruban Government to grant the traditional kunuku houses and cas floria a protected monumental status, so that this part of Aruban heritage and identity will be preserved for future generations.


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