Patterns decorating walls of West African mud village houses

Geometric painted dwellings

While I was browsing the inspirational patterns from Africa, I came a cross with the wonderful painted dwellings from the village of Tiébélé
located in Burkina Faso, West Africa at Justina Blakeney’ s blog. Through the history of human culture desire of  drawing or painting symbols onto the living spaces and architectures have been a great driving force in all cultures. Same as in these habitats from west Africa Burkuno Faso. They have been extremely decorative by their wonderful patterns on their red mud walls,  and their organic, unique forms. The most important part is that there is a meaning behind this local tribal concept.

According to information given by the photographer Rita Willaert of these  shots; “the forms of the dwells actually show the marital status of the person who live in that house. Round small houses belong to young bachelors and the rectangular ‘Mangolo’ terrace belong to young couples. The houses’ bilobees “or the 8-form belonging to the older ladies and young children. Round grain silo contemporaries are found everywhere. The whole can be tightly sealed against invasion of aliens and wild animals. Drawings of snakes and crocodiles, both sacred animals, bestow protection.

The wonderful black patterns on to the reddish brown walls are painted by the women of the village and the buildings are constructed by the men. This is a dominant habitual tradition in all around the Africa. The  living traditions of the African continent has been very inspirational by its pure functional forms and traditional, spiritual design. I truly admire the irresistible aesthetic desire of human mind which is attracted to decorate his/her surrounding. This has been a story since the creation of humankind and will be forever… Don’ t you agree?

decorations on walls


Tiebele houses

written by Tijen Samuray Öztek (designmixer)

images via Ria Willaert


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