Hausa Traditional Architecture

  • Amina Batagarawa
  • Rukayyatu Bashiru Tukur
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


The chapter describes the Hausa Traditional Houses and buildings. Description of the building materials is fully explained, followed by the shape and the style of roofing.

The walls constructions are called tubali walls which involve the moulding of pear-shaped sun-dried mud bricks made from birji. Moulding the egg-shaped units of tubali wall bricks involves mixing the laterite soil with water and when properly dried, the bricks are then laid in regular courses with egg points facing upward. A justification for small doorways and window opening was given to reduce heat gain and flies and mosquitoes entering the buildings.

The flooring carefully designed in THA is usually laid by women. A surface of laterite of 3 cm thick is laid on top of a layer of beaten earth. This laterite, daube, is sprinkled with gravel, then watered and beaten with a tool called madabi, a thick, slightly curved branch, flattened a little on the outer side. When it is dry, the floor is further hardened with makuba. All the materials are locally produced. Several examples were included to illustrate the construction.


Hausa traditional houses Tubali Birji Makuba 



Photo Credits: Muhammad Musa Danraka, Amina Batagarawa.


  1. Denyer S (1979) African Traditional Architecture: An Historical and Geographical Perspective. Holmes & Meier Pub.Google Scholar
  2. Dmochowski, ZR (1990). An Introduction to Nigerian Architecture: Northern Nigeria. Michigan: Ethnographica.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amina Batagarawa
    • 1
  • Rukayyatu Bashiru Tukur
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Faculty of Environmental DesignAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria

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