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25 Elements of Traditional Hausa Architecture

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Elements of Traditional Hausa Architecture

Emir's Palace Kano. Image:  ⓒ Hauwa Mahmoud Hausa architecture, as dictated by culture, is traditionally designed to be inward-looking in order to maximize privacy. Residential architecture is characterized by high walls with openings few and small, large courtyards, and entrance porches meant to welcome but keep out strange male visitors from the inner private quarters. These features usually have the double function of ensuring privacy, which is an important consideration in Hausa architecture. They also aid temperature regulation which is vital in the hot and arid regions of the West African Sahel where the Hausas are predominantly located. Plan and layout of Emir's Palace, Kano    Dmochowski 1990 The layout of a traditional  Hausa residence rarely takes a defined shape. This flexibility allows for expansion as needed as most households tend to be polygamous. However, there are certain features that are consistent in any layout no matter how big or small.

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