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.
Unlike atakpame (coursed earth technique of building), wattle-and-daub structures can be built quickly. The structure has a frame of horizontal and vertical poles, into which molded earthen balls are pressed to create walls. Whereas atakpame must be allowed to dry thoroughly before the next course is added, the "wattle" framing allows the "daub" to be placed and the walls completed without waiting for lower levels to dry. Ahenkro, December, 1982.
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Thatched roofs; Wattle and daub; Building, Clay; Housing
Houses along the main street of Wewa. Doorways lead to interior courtyards of these compounds. Walls are made primarily using an atakpame (coursed earth) technique, though the pillared verandah wall (far right) was made with sun-dried bricks. Part of the roof of the near compound has recently been re-thatched. The streets and houses are kept clear of grass and other plants. Wewa, December, 1982.
The walls of an atakpame (coursed-earth) structure drying before the next course of earthen building material is added. Behind, to the left, a block constructed building in progress and houses with metal roofs. Dompofie, September, 1982.
A skilled builder (Akwasi Nyua Tonyaa) places atakpame balls on the previously laid and dried course of earthen wall. He carefully molds the moist earthen ball to the dry course to ensure a strong wall. Dompofie, September, 1982.
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.
A narrow excavation trench cuts across several low mounds ("Mound 1") at Makala Station 10. The standing stub of a deteriorating wall is associated with one low mound. Trees dot the site in the foreground. In the background, behind the trench, are piles of dirt formed by the sieving of excavated dirt in order to recover artifacts. 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.
The standing wall stubs of a small structure are surrounded by trees at Makala Kataa. Its walls were built using an atakpame technique. The grass cover has been cleared by archaeologists in preparation for site mapping. Far right, Banda Research Project team members work on nearby Station 10 excavation units. According to oral histories, people moved from this area of Makala Kataa to establish a new village in a place immediately east of the old settlement. This move happened at a time when British colonial officials were implementing "village planning" schemes in the early decades of the 20th century. Makala Kataa, 1990.