Gurunsi Earth Houses of Burkina Faso

Gurunsi Earth Houses of Burkina Faso


“The small country of Burkina Faso near the border to Ghana may not have many resources or economic wealth, but with the plentiful raw materials available the Kassena people make some of the most culturally rich and architecturally beautiful villages, such as this one in tiébélé, built using traditional gurunsi vernacular. The dwellings occupy a community of just over one hectare in area, and are made of a sun-dried mix of clay, soil, straw and cow droppings moistened to a perfect mortar, mixed by foot to create strong pottery-like structures. These techniques actually preceded the well known mud-brick constructions of indigenous peoples in the area. Layer upon layer are added when needed, maintaining the necessary wall thickness to withstand rainstorms and extreme temperatures. Short walls are used as urban landscaping elements, provide a buttressing support, and offer supplementary places to sit or work. The most amazing feature, however, is the intricate ornamentation that covers almost every square inch of the dwellings, painted with colored mud and chalk that tell an expressive story of the ancient tribe’s culture.”

Lots more great photos at the source: Design Boom.com


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