Ghana Everyday living: Ashanti Compound Residence

In spite of the fast expansion of the huge towns, Accra and Kumasi, a bulk of Ghanaians continue to stay in hamlets, villages and compact towns in rural areas exactly where most livelihoods nonetheless depend in essence on farming. In these rural communities the traditional form of housing is even now typical and most family members dwell in a one home in a compound household. Even though the first mud brick partitions and thatched roofs have mainly been replaced by concrete blocks and corrugated metal roofing sheets, and the dimension of the compound has been improved, the fundamental format and the way of living it supports have remained basically unchanged. What follows is a description of a usual Ashanti compound household in the modest gold-mining town of Konongo, fifty kilometres from Kumasi on the highway from Accra, as it existed in the last decade of the twentieth century.

The traditional flooring program of the compound home consists of a rectangular courtyard surrounded on all four sides by rows of solitary rooms, each with a doorway and a window opening on to the internal courtyard. The rows of rooms sort a wall all-around the courtyard with a single opening on just one aspect to offer access from outside the house. In previous occasions the opening could have been gated, but compound homes constructed in fashionable times, like the one particular in Konongo, frequently experienced unobstructed access. Just about every room belonged to a household and was passed on from technology to era. Almost everyone in the compound belonged to the exact extended family or clan, but a couple place homeowners who moved away or located alternate accommodation may possibly have enable their place to a stranger.

The compound dwelling in Konongo, in prevalent with several other people in the town, gave the impact of hardly ever having been done. The substantial central courtyard was unpaved except for a handful of compact areas of concrete outside some of the rooms. On this tough trodden and usually-swept orange-pink bare earth flooring small children realized to crawl and toddle even though their mothers cooked, attended to family chores and conversed with other girls. Continual sweeping kept the compound free of grass and weeds but the courtyard was huge plenty of to accommodate a few shade trees underneath which the men could obtain to smoke their pipes and vent their grievances.

In addition to the trees, the courtyard was littered with setting up materials still left above from the primary building and later extension tasks. These piles of sand and discarded creating blocks had turn into steadily weathered into clean and common contours that no person imagined of getting rid of, either to assemble a new facility or to make improvements to the physical appearance of the compound. The bordering walls may possibly once have been white but now they had taken on the colour of the soil beneath. The iron roofing sheets were being rusted and patched warped, damaged and unpainted wooden doorways sagged on their hinges, and the louvered windows experienced cracked and lacking glasses, some changed by strips of plywood.

Lots of of the shade trees in Ashanti cities and villages are mangoes. These ended up unpopular with the adults since the little ones produced so considerably mess in May well each yr when the fruit was ripe and completely ready to try to eat. The kid’s common method of harvesting was to toss sticks up into the trees which fell back accompanied by the fruit and also by copious quantities of foliage. Fortuitously, the mango fruiting time was limited, and the smiles on the faces of the children promptly reverted from mango orange to long term chocolate brown.