Area: 1200 m2
Building Age: circa 200 years
This house built entirely in the native architectural style, is among the oldest on Kish Island.
The original owner of the house was the late Haj Abdollah-ban- Shahin, a well known and popular person in Kish during the past 80 years. He was a pearl merchant and owner of one of the largest sailing Lenjes of his time, and was also skilled in woodworking (called “gallafi” in the native language) and building Lenjes. He inherited the house from his great grandfather.
To the past generations the native inhabitants in general and to the residents of the historical Safin Village in particular, this house has a special standing ; since, most of them learned their basic traditional schooling and Quran reading in this house. The house has actually served as a school for the Safin neighborhood
In order to introduce the unique history, culture, traditions, livelihood, and handicraft of the native Kish residents, to create jobs for native inhabitants and promote greater participation on their behalf in tourism-related activities, and to realize sustainable tourism goals in Kish Island, the house was upon the present owner’s consent and obtaining the required permits from the Kish Free Trade Zone Organization, turned into a museum in April 2014 and called The Anthropological House of the Native Residents of Kish Island. Without changing their traditional architecture, all the rooms in the house were renovated using indigenous materials and thus, the life style of Kish’s native inhabitants in the past 80 years was revived.
The idea of turning the house into a museum of anthropology as the first phase of the eco-museum in Seffin was proposed by Mohammed Jassim Pour, the great-grandson of the house owner, on the basis of his thesis entitled "eco-museum and its role in the development of Kish Island sustainable tourism" and was implemented in collaboration with a number of survivors and the Island indigenous youth.
We would like to extend our special gratitude to Haj Ebrahim Salem Hoseini who for years took excellent care of this house and through its timely repair and maintenance, played the greatest role in protecting this house as a part of Kish’s cultural inheritance. He offered his sincere cooperation in founding the museum as well by donating his precious house and its furniture so as to keep alive the history and culture of Kish Island. We hail this great patriot for all his valuable deeds in this regard.
Due to the fact that Kish Island has a coral bed, coral rock is abundant on this island. Coral rock was obtained by crushing large coral rocks and used for erecting walls and masonry work. All the rooms and walls in the Anthropological House are built with coral stone.
Mud is the main mortar used in Kish traditional architecture. The specific mud used in Kish is white or cream in color and has high adhesive properties. This kind of mud can be found in certain parts of the island (called Matineh) where sediments resulting from rain are accumulated. The natives of Safin Village acquired the mud for building their houses from the nearby Matineh to the south of the village. Most of the internal space in the Anthropological House is made of this same mud.
This high strength material is another native mortar used and prepared in Kish. The natives would mix calcareous soil, sand, clay, small pieces of coral, and several other materials to make black ash mortar. However, many natives could not afford this material due to its high processing costs. So, they would use it only in certain spaces including the rooms built for affluent people, the floor of the rooms used for storing dates, and bathroom floors. Black ash mortar was used in building the Beit-ol Oud, the Hejleh, and the Chandoul floors of the Anthropological House.
By weaving palm branches, Kish natives would make Daan which has many applications in the native architecture and way of life. The native inhabitants would cover their house roofs with Daan, or use Daan for making summer beds, Arish (summer shed), Mazeleh (sunshade), etc. The roofs of most of the rooms in the Anthropological House are covered with Daan, and this material has been used for making summer beds and sunshades as well.
This is a kind of strong rounded twig wood brought back by Kish natives from East Africa. Chandal was used for ceiling work and sunshades. Nearly all the ceilings in the Anthropological House are made of this wood. Chandal was used for summer beds and sunshades as well.
This is a very strong straw mat woven from reeds, and was usually imported from Abadan. Mangour was, due to its high cost, used only in the ceilings of affluent people’s homes. The ceilings of four rooms in the Anthropological House are covered with Mangour.
Kish natives used to divide broken palm tree trunks into four transverse sections and use them in the ceiling work of their houses. Those who could not afford Chandal would use yadah in their ceilings. In certain rooms of the Anthropological House such as the kitchen, yadaa has been used in the ceiling.