Vernacular Architecture of Traditional African Village Huts

Although they differ from country to country, the traditional African village huts have thatched roofs supported by a wooden or an earth base. Some huts also have entirely thatched exteriors and an interior made of mud. Due to the use of readily available local materials, this type of house is classified as vernacular architecture. Although the choice of local materials is generally associated with poverty, it also has climatic advantages as it enables ventilation.

Here are some examples of traditional African village huts.

Zulu Huts in South Africa

In order to build a Zulu hut, it was necessary to first create a frame by bending wooden poles inward toward the center. Then, the frame is covered by weaving a thatch of dried grasses and eventually creating a dome-shaped structure.

African village huts- Zulu huts
African village huts- Zulu huts
Zulu huts

A Tuareg Village in the Ubari Lakes Area in Libya

Tuareg people are famous for their nomadic lifestyle and architecture. Their tents have different shapes including dome or square-shaped ones. Here is an abandoned Tuareg village in Libya.

tuareg village
African village huts
Geography Now
Tuareg village
Geography Now

Musgum Earth House in Cameroon

Also known as “cases obus,” Musgum earth houses are structures made of mud by the ethnic Musgum people in Cameroon. Their geometric designs as well as shapes change as some of them have a tall domed or a conical shape. Apart from their decorative function, the V-shaped or straight relief lines enable the water to drain quickly and easily when it rains. Although they have an important place in Cameroon’s architecture, they are not as popular today.

African village huts
African village huts

Ethiopian Granaries

Ethiopain granaries