The Diversity Of Early African Architecture/Ruins Thread

Jun 2013
I made this thread on another site and it was well liked...


One misconception people have about Africans prior to colonization is that only Egypt and maybe the rest of North Africa(again maybe) had very advanced architecture while the rest of Africa lived in mud huts or were just nomads. Not saying there is anything wrong with mud huts, but saying most if not all lived in mud huts is void. Some African societies were more or less advanced than others, so again to say to say that mud huts were the basic of African living is again...Void and also ignorant. Also the irony is the stone monuments of Ancient Egypt in the form of temples and tombs were ONLY dedicated to gods and pharaohs. Virtually ALL cities in Egypt were constructed of 'mud-brick' and 'wood' and even then such cities were few and far between throughout the country of Egypt. This is the reason why Egypt was popularly called by archaeologists a civilization "without cities". Ironically, West Africans built many cities yet their civilizations tended to be ignored by some Westerners as part of propaganda to demoralize and denigrate them.

Anyways many African cultures built cities; however very few of them were constructed by stone. In African cultures, large monuments and structures constructed of permanent and endurable material such as stone was built for spirits of the dead or the gods and meant to last for eternity, whereas large monuments and structures constructed for living yet mortal people were constructed of more temporary and perishable materials such as adobe (mud-brick) or wood.

^^^What I'm basically trying to imply is that you shouldn't judge African civilizations/cultures by WESTERN STANDARDS. The so called Afrocentrics make that mistake ALL THE TIME! -__-

But the question is...Did most or ALL African cultures/civilizations live in mud huts like these?

The answer is no...Like I said before African societies/cultures were/are too diverse to make a void statement like that. That's why I decided to make this thread, to educate the people who are less informed about the diversity of African Architecture and to also educate the so called Afrocentrics for putting so much focus on Ancient Egypt and not the rest of Africa, WHICH HAS BEEN IGNORED. All can contribute btw. :)

I will refrain from posting Ancient Egyptian architecture/ruins and will only focus on non Egypt areas of Africa.

Anyways lets begin...

Burkina Faso


Kano City

Ruins of the city of Kerma, in modern-day Sudan

Jun 2013
“Kanó, from Mount Dalá/ Febr 10th 1851”

“Timbúktu from the Terrace of the Traveller’s House”-1850's

“View of the City of Timbuctoo”[This is the first view of Timbuktu drawn by a European visitor.]

'From the tower I had an extensive view over an immense plain of white sand, on which nothing grows except a few stunted shrubs, the mimosa ferruginea, and where the uniformity of the picture is only here and there broken by some scattered hills or banks of sand. I could not help contemplating with astonishment the extraordinary city before me, created solely by the wants of commerce, and destitute of every resource except what its accidental position as a place of exchange affords.'- René Caillié(1799-1838), Travels Through Central Africa to Timbuctoo, and Across the Great Desert, to Morocco, Performed in the Years 1824-1828, Vol. 2, p. 71. London, 1830.

The Court at Kanem-Bornu, ca. 1700
Jun 2013
Njoja's palace in Bamum and the Basler Mission church.

House of Muslim Religious Leader, Fandah, Central Nigeria, 1832-33

Ethiopia's Lalibela Rock sculpted churches

Medieval Sudan

Almnara Tower in Mogadishu, Somalia

Ruins of the Sultanate of Adal in Zeila, Somalia

Whitewashed coral stone city of Merca, Somalia
Jun 2013
Early Somali Architecture

Ruins of the Majeerteen Sultanate King Osman Mahamuud's castle in Bargal, built in 1878.

17th-century mosque in Hafun, Somalia.

13th century Fakr ad-Din mosque built by Fakr ad-Din, the first Sultan of the Mogadishu Sultanate.
Jun 2013
Lunda houses (Congo)

Obus House – Architecture of Cameroon

Nsude Igbo pyramid shrine

Somewhere in Côte d'Ivoire
Jul 2012
Michigan, USA.
I agree. Africa is a huge continent, so naturally the architectural styles would reflect that. I'm surprised though that you didn't add anything related to Zimbabwe or the Swahili coast.