Large stones, some used as grindstones, are placed about the corner of this courtyard. Groundnut (peanut, boŋgrɛ in Nafaanra) shells lay on the ground at the feet of a child. A carved wooden stool appears alongside stools made from sawed boards, the latter typical of those taken to school by children each day and those used by women as they sit hearth-side while cooking. Two calabash bowls (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra) sit nearby. Makala, July, 1994.
The exterior of a compound house made of adjoining rooms oriented around a rectangular courtyard. These were often built over time, with rooms added as needed, gradually enclosing the interior courtyard. The compound in this photo is open on one side, rooms surrounding the other three sides of the courtyard. Atakpame walls are visible as are the gabled thatched roofs that protect walls from erosion by rain. Makala, July, 1994.
Exterior wall of a compound house covered by a thatched roof. The coursed earth (atakpame) wall was built in stages as rooms were added. An exterior roof support pole is visible to the left. A coconut palm, an unusual tree in this area of savanna woodland far from the coast, is visible in the background. Houses and surrounding streets are kept clear of grass and other plants. Makala, July 1994.
The exterior wall of an atakpame (coursed earth) house. Atakpame is a technique for building durable earthen walls that can stand for many decades. The thatched roof is supported by interior and exterior posts and does not rest on the walls. When covered by well-maintained thatched roofs, the walls are protected from erosion by rain. A goat walks on the street outside. Makala, July, 1994.
The earthen walls of a house on one side of a multi-room compound have collapsed, the walls filling in the area that was once the house floor. The thatched roofs of other rooms around the open courtyard can be seen in the background. Sabiye, 1994.