Background Information

 The homes that Africans live in are reflective of where they live.  For example, the nomads that live in northern Africa must have simple homes because they move around a lot.  Their homes are tents made of camel hair.  They do not have much in the way of furnishings.  Rugs are used to cover the dirt floors while sleeping.

 Africans who live along the rivers of the central rain forest have to clear forests before they can build their homes.  Thus, they build their homes close together.  Their homes are made up of bamboo stalks, palm branches, and broad leaves because these are the materials that are readily available to them.

 The homes in some parts of western Africa are square.  The walls are made of red mud while the roofs consist of bamboo that is covered with palm leaves.  A court makes up the middle of the house where the family gathers to rest.  There is a type of barn that is attached to the house.  The barn is used for storing or drying food and keeping domestic animals.  A bathhouse fenced off with bamboo mats is found in one corner of the barn.

 The dwellings just discussed are found in rural villages.  These villages are usually organized by families.  Extended families live together in an area of the village called a compound.  The compound usually consists of a well, a latrine, several houses, and an open courtyard.  Compounds of different families are often separated by common walls.  They may be organized in a circle or back to back.

 Some African homes are made of brick and covered with mud.  The roofs on these homes are cone shaped and covered with grasses or leaves.  The bricks used to build the homes are made by men, women, and children.  The women draw the water and pour it into the pit.  The men then mix the mud and straw with their feet.  The mixture is then poured into wooden molds and left in the sun to dry.


"Africa - Dwellings."  World Book Encyclopedia.  1989 Edition.  Volume 1.
Ouelessebougou - Utah Alliance. 1025 South 100 West.  Salt Lake City UT  84104.  1998.  Calendar - June.

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