I (Christina) recently got back from a trip to Vanua Levu, Fiji and got to experience life around the tiny Fijian cottages called bures (pronounced bur-ray). The traditional Fijian bure is a wood hut with a straw roof and usually no heating or air conditioning. The structure is cooled by placing windows where there is a cross-breeze. Bures are sometimes built with whatever is on hand in the local area.
Bures are used in Fijian tourism as travelers’ cottages or small resort structures. They are usually eco-friendly and powered by solar and with rainwater or spring-fed plumbing. They can range in sizes, but most of them are one-room structures. Because of the heat and humidity of the area, most time is spent out on a large, covered deck at the front of the bure. Also, because of the amount of rainfall in the Fiji islands, many bures are built on stilts.
Inside most tourist bures are some simple furniture, but in traditional bures most villagers sit on the floor on handwoven mats made from the pandanus plant.