Mbororo Hut

Central Cameroon 

Mbororo Huts of Elephant Grass

Built from branches and saplings, lashed together with bast, the Mbororo build huts that can be circular or square, or anything in-between. The four corners are set-out first by constructing two hoops at right angles to each other and the walls between are then formed, straight, gently curved or set to a full circle. They had no explanation as to why one or another plan type may be selected. The huts also vary from simple small structures quickly built from a few branches to more solid constructions with a greater density of branches and thickness of cover. It depends upon how long the nomadic peoples are expecting to stay in one place. Increasingly, as they settle, the structures seem to be becoming a little larger and better built. The principle, however, is the same and only a few have adopted the "village" style of their neighbours, based on earth blocks and thatch.

The frame is a typical tied gridshell, but with the addition of a reinforced ring beam at eaves level. This holds back the weight of the roof. They can be covered in a variety of materials, ranging from elephant grass, which the women cut themselves locally when in season, to evergreen leaves from local shrubs, but the preferred material is the leaves of the fan palm. These are abundant, but grown on owned land, so the leaves must be purchased.

Inside, we saw a variety of arrangements, depending on the number of beds to be accommodated. Within a village, the huts tend to be clustered together in small groups, each sharing a hearth, often in addition to a separate hearth within the hut.

Most of the tribe are now settling close to established villages to protect themselves from raiding bandits who, the locals report, take their children for ransom.

Central Cameroon

Spring 2017

Similar Building Types

Huts and small shelters







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