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The traditional Korean house is heated by warm air or warm water which passes through hollow spaces or pipes under the floor Theres nothing better than coming home to a warm floor on a cold day Thats one of the reasons Koreans dont wear shoes in the house In prehistoric times people in the northern part of Korea lived in pit dwellings with straw roofs In the south they lived in houses built on stilts These early peoples lives centered around a stone fire pit Their houses faced southeast to catch the sun and block the cold winds In the mountains of central Korea many people lived in nowa houses wooden houses held together by mud and straw Their roofs were made of thick wooden shingles which were held down with heavy stones or logs Nowa houses have no chimneys The smoke from the fire hole which is used for cooking and heats the floor of the main room escapes through a hole in the roof above the kitchen This nowa house is located in the mountains of Kangwon Province Nowa houses are rare today Not long ago thatched houses dotted the countryside throughout Korea Today most thatched houses are found in folk villages living museums where traditional Korean culture is preserved Many thatched-roof houses have simple fences made of sticks or stones The walls of the houses are made of mud mixed with straw In the colder northern provinces roofs are very thick and hang low over the house In the warmer southern part of Korea roofs are thinner and windows and porches are larger In the Choson Kingdom which ruled Korea from 9 to 90 there was an elite class called the yangban They held government positions and were respected for their learning Many yangban homes were
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