The Natural Vernacular Architecture of Africa.

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This is a traditional split bamboo plaited roundhouse by the Sidama people of Ethiopia. The dome, with its pointy top, is designed to shed heavy rainfall where a circular dome would have a flat region prone to leaks. Bamboo once played an important role in the rural economies of East Africa but indiscriminate clearing of natural bamboo forests have resulted in losing natural resources and many of the traditional building skills.


These are the homes of the Batammariba (meaning "those who model the earth") people, whose impressive earth tower homes, called takienta, have become a symbol of Togo.

Many of the buildings are two storeys high. Some of the buildings have flat roofs, others have conical thatched roofs. They are grouped in villages, which also include ceremonial spaces, springs, rocks and sites reserved for initiation ceremonies. UNESCO's video right gives more detail about these earthen homes.


This is an Igherm, a communal fortified granary, high in the Atlas Mountains in the Zawiya Ahansal region of Morocco. This one, some 400 years old, had fallen in to disrepair like many others in the region. It's made from stone and adobe brick and was restored in 2007 by local builders. The Ighirmin, with ornate iron and wooden doors, are communally owned by the tribe providing every family in the village with a room to store grain.


These are the earthen homes of the Gurunsi in Burkina Faso. The men build the house and the women decorate the facades. All the figures have a symbolic meaning.

Round small houses 'dra' belong to young singles. The rectangular 'mangolo' with terrace belonging to young couples. The 'bilobées'  belonging to the older women and young children. The water used to clean shea butter, which ends up with an oily texture, helps to make the plaster water-proof.

 via natrualhomes

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