window spacer


Wall building begins

Photos and captions by John A. Harris

Breaking ground | Preparing materials | Walls begin | Walls built | Roofing begins | Roof takes shape | Towards completion

Click below to see the photos and information on African hut construction:

leveling the floor

tying horizontals

structure detail


Photo of leveling floors

Click image to return to gallery

The man who builds the house does the initial leveling. He breaks large clumps of clay and earth into smaller pieces. When the house structure is complete and has its roof, women come in, sprinkle water on the surface and make a mud floor. This is then evened and smoothed to make the floor on which the family will sleep and live.

Top of page


Photo of tying horizontals

Click image to return to gallery

The horizontals are made from a species of tree similar to that used for the thicker uprights. They are tied to the poles by bark rope. The horizontal beams brace the entire building; much as the cross strips might do in a basket. Later all the poles and wood bracing will be buried inside a mud straw mixture.

Top of page


Photo of structure detail

Click image to return to gallery

The relationship between the many uprights and the horizontal beams tied to them clearly shows the straightforward traditional technology.

Learn more about African hut construction

Top of page

next photo set: Walls built

Click for the next photos
next sequence of photos

Back to African people

© Jungle Photos 2000-2014

window spacer