Acholi are ranked best in Uganda as far as traditional buildings are concerned. An Italian priest used to visit our home when I was not yet born; but what I learnt from my grandmother id that he always said my mother's hut was equivalent to none he saw during his life in Uganda. He praised our way of building saying the roofs do not leak, floor well beaten and smeared, walls also smeared. He would say our huts had good ventilation.

In our culture, building is done collectively-- I mean both men and women participated in it but each sex with specific roles. Women cut the grass for thatching, they fetched water for making the mud for the wall. They also beat hard the floor smoothed and smeared it. They were also responsible for the beauty of the walls. Men on the other hand collected the poles, reeds, ropes, forks. These they looked for in the bush. In the present time, they made mud bricks. The actual construction was and is done by them. In this regard, men did and still do more work as far as raising a hut is concerned in Acholiland.

In building, like in any other field, skill is needed. Some Acholi men were so skilled that they were often hired to do some specific task in construction.

In the olden days, people did not know how to make bricks so walls were just mu-and-wattle.

m&d.jpg
the huts were similar to this one from google


Some Acholi people even made wall of woven split bamboo or reeds. The wall would then be smeared with mud and cow dung.

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wall made of reeds.


The days, people make better places of abode. Men, boys make bricks by making mud ready for it.
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boys and girls making bricks. Girls provide water for the work


The drying bricks do not need direct sunlight lest they crack so they are covered with grass.
COVERED TO DRY.jpg

When the bricks dry, making the wall begins. This, as I said before is done by men. Either a mason is hired or just a skilled person does the work. The womenfolk just provide water and food for the workers.
Building the wall take two to three days depending on the size of the hut.

In reality when it comes to building, men do more work than women. The opposite happens in maintaining the already built house.
Walls can be circular like this one and the hut is called "ot alunga" i.e round/ circular hut,
wall.JPG
wall done
.
Some youths prefer rectangular walls although this is very rare these days. These types are call "ot rukun" i.e rectangular hut.
rukun.JPG

In the olden days, roofs were constructed from up the wall. These days however, roofs are constructed from the ground and lifted up for thatching.
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Once it is completed, able bodies carry it and fit onto the wall.
roof caried.JPG


When thatching, a hut can have the roof plain of flat. A hut with this kind of roof is 'ADUC"

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Some skilled specialists make roofs appear corrugated. A hut with this type of roof is called "OT ATOTA"

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Our compounds are wide, often kept clean. In some homes beautifully cared for hedges are seen.
acholi homestead.JPG