If you want to learn about chukum and you turn to Google, you’ll mainly see links to a restaurant in Bangalore called Chakum Chukum, home of “Calcutta on a Roll.” It looks quite good. But I want to know about the chukum associated with the Yucatán, not India. The smooth water-proof stucco that requires the resin from the bark of the native Havardia albicans, or chukum tree. That’s the chukum I want to learn about. Our architect is using it on our house, and despite early reservations about it, I really couldn’t be more thrilled.
On Friday, the day our architect’s office sends us batches of work-site photos, we saw chukum was being applied to some exterior walls, starting with the walls that face our neighbors. It’s satisfying to see the cinder block covered up finally, like frosting on a wedding cake. It’s the first finished anything we’ve seen on the house.
Chukum is an ancient Maya technique that, after some experimentation, was reintroduced [Read more…]