A view of Makala's wide main street, standing at the west edge of town, looking eastward. A mango tree grows in the street at the far end of the street. Atakpame (coursed earthen-walled) houses with thatched roofs line the street. The streets and areas around houses are kept clear of plants. Enoch Mensah (left) and Andy Black (right) stroll down the street after a day of work at Makala Kataa, the archaeological site located immediately west of Makala. Wide main streets like this one were was established in the 1920s when a British colonial District Officer implemented a "village planning" scheme. New villages were laid out next to existing settlements, and old villages abandoned as people relocated. The new villages were laid out on a grid pattern oriented by a wide main street. Archaeological excavations (1989, 1990 and 1994) at the old village site (Makala Kataa) have revealed much about daily life of Banda villagers in the late 18th and 19th centuries. See below for a link to a the 1902 Gold Coast Colony Ordinance that prompted these relocations: "Rules with Respect to Regulation of Towns and Villages." Makala, June-July, 1990. Makala, June-July, 1990.
Makala as viewed from the southwest edge of town, looking northwest. A metal-roofed atakpame (coursed earthen-walled) courtyard house is in the foreground, with thatched-roof buildings visible beyond. The Banda hills rise in the background. Paths cut through the plants that grow up to village's edge. Makala, June-July, 1990.
A view of houses along the north side of Makala's wide main street, looking northwest toward the Banda hills. Visible are atakpame (coursed earthen-walled) houses with thatched roofs. The exterior walls of some buildings are plastered. The streets and areas around houses are kept clear of plants. Makala, June-July, 1990.
A courtyard house on the north side of Makala's main street. The atakpame (coursed earth) walls of the street-facing porch are plastered. The house compound's roofs and those of neighboring houses are thatched. The broad street in front of the house is clear of vegetation. Makala, June-July, 1990.
A view of Makala's wide main street, standing under a mango tree at the east end of town looking westward. Houses with thatched roofs line the main street, with a metal-roofed house visible to the right. Makala, June-July, 1990.
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Thatched roofs; Metal roofing; Streets; Housing; Villages
Tobacco was grown as a cash crop in the Banda area during the 1980s and 1990s. Pictured here are wood piles and tobacco barns on the south side of Ahenkro. The wood was collected and brought to town using a tractor. The high demand for wood by tobacco farmers to fuel the drying barns created tensions with women who relied on wood collected from farms to fuel their cooking fires. Ahenkro, June-July, 1990.
Drying barns on the south side of Banda-Ahenkro used to dry and cure tobacco. Wood used to fuel the fires in the barns is stacked in piles between the barns and was brought in from surrounding farmland by tractor. The high demand for wood by tobacco farmers created tensions with women who relied on wood collected from farms to fuel their cooking fires. Ahenkro, June-July, 1990.
During the 20th century, potting took place primarily in villages west of the Banda hills (Dorbour, Dumboli, Bondakile). But based on oral histories and archaeological evidence we know that pottery was made more widely across the area in earlier centuries. Here Ann Stahl makes notes on an old clay pit located east of the Ahenkro-Bongase road a short distance south of Bongase. Chuli mountain is visible in the distance. Tall grass characteristic of the rainy season covers the area. South of Bongase, 1990.
View looking west to the gap in the Banda hills near Ahenkro, standing on the south side of town. To the far left stands the Banda Traditional Council building put up by the colonial government. To the right is the metal-roofed house assigned to the government nurse stationed in town to run the small clinic. Ahenkro, 1990.
A narrow excavation trench cuts across several low mounds at Makala Kataa, Station 10. A low wall stub is visible to the left of the trench in the foreground. Trees dot the site, and low piles of screened excavated soil from the trench are visible in the background. According to oral histories, people moved from this area of Makala Kataa early in the 20th century when British colonial officials implemented a "village planning" scheme. People built new houses east of the old settlement and in time the old houses collapsed and formed low mounds. Makala Kataa, 1990.