African Village Huts with Vernacular Architecture

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 first 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.




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.


Geography Now

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.



Ethiopian Granaries

Ethiopian Dorze Homes

The Dorze huts are built with woven bamboo with a thatch of enset leaves. The shape of the houses resembles the Elephants as there used to be a lot of Elephants in the region. However, their number gradually decreased, and there is none left in the area today.



Toposa Village in South Sudan

Toposa people are one of the largest tribal communities in South Sudan, and their villages contain unique granaries and houses suitable for both dry and rainy seasons. They first build their houses out of strands of straw, reeds, or palm leaves, and then raise them on stilts. The residents of the village also renew their roofs regularly before the rainy seasons.

Togunas of Dogon Village, Mali

Togunas are public discussion places with low roofs that oblige visitors to sit rather than stand. The purpose of this design is to prevent violence when a discussion gets heated. Togunas also serve as public gathering places at the hottest hours of the day. Most Togunas have artistic value as they have men and women reliefs with exaggerated genitalia as a symbol of fertility.

Senufo Granaries in Burkina Faso

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