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Villages near the paved road tend to have houses made with purchased materials. Concrete block, cement, and corrugated metal are more common. Farther away from the paved road, houses tend to be made with less substantial materials: sticks, branches, mud, and leaves. Distance from the road dictates farmer wealth, as rutted dirt roads require more time and money to get products to market.
Houses often do not get finished or the mud washes out of the walls. Near Batteguedea, Cote d'Ivoire, 2005.
Is this house really occupied? Near Batteguedea, Cote d'Ivoire, 2005.
Same house--with one of the occupants. Near Batteguedea, Cote d'Ivoire, 2005.
Depa, Cote d'Ivoire, 2006.
The house is made of straight poles cut from some leguminous tree that are lashed together. The walls are made of packed mud. Often, they extract the mud by digging a hole in the vicinity of the house that will then serve as the toilet. Depa, Cote d'Ivoire, 2006.
Making "rope" for lashing structural elements together. An old man (my age) watches. Since there are no TVs or radios (or electricity to run them), watching someone build your neighbor's house serves as entertainment. Depa, Cote d'Ivoire, 2006.
Chicken house, Ebekawopa, Ghana, 2007.
House made of unknown stem that has a pithy center. Galebre, Côte d'Ivoire, 2007.
How to keep your house cool. Grow a vine onto it. Galebre, Côte d'Ivoire. 2007.
Mud bricks. They are easily washed away and the harder mortar remains, creating this attractive pattern. Galebre, Côte d'Ivoire. 2007.
Partially demolished house in Mmaniaye, Ghana. 2007.
Sewing shingles. Mmaniaye, Ghana, 2007. The nuts on the ground are palm kernels, which are extremely hard and which are eventually gathered, cracked open and heated to express the oil.
House in Gyaware, Ghana, 2007. Photo by Stan Thompson
House in Mmaniaye, Ghana, 2007. Note the drying structure used for drying cocoa beans. Photo by Stan Thompson.
Sewing shingles in Mmaniaye, Ghana, 2007. Photo by Stan Thompson
Shingle roof and mud wall. Pezoan, Côte d'Ivoire, 2008.
House in Ebekawopa, Ghana, 2008.
Mud wall of a house in Bafia.
Bafia, Cameroon, 2011.