Ghana’s Jewellery Box Houses

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The Kassena people, part of Burkina Faso’s Gurunsi group, live in the village of Tiébélé. They build practical buildings, perfectly suited to their culture and climate. Homes are made from clay, soil, straw and dung, mixed by foot – a technique that predates mud brick construction. A number of different house “types” cater for people at all stages of life, from young singles to families to older people. The close knit arrangement of living spaces creates lots of opportunities for community interaction without compromising personal space.

image copyright rita willaert
image copyright rita willaert

What makes these homes truly special is the hand-painted ornamentation [VIDEO] which adorns the buildings and tells the stories of the local culture and traditions. The intricate patterns have a tactile, almost fabric-like quality, and are completely unique to each building.

image copyright rita willaert
image copyright rita willaert