"Daily Life in Sierra Leone: the Sherbro in 1936-37"

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see also: domestic architecture
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Architecture and Construction in the 30's
Construction in the Sherbro Island area the 1930's was mainly for domestic use; however, structures were built as farm shelters, fishing shelters known as shimbek, community meeting places, or for religious and ritual use. Shimbek were intended to house families during the fishing season and provide space for storing and smoking fish.

Round house without a verandah
Round house without a verandah. The conical roof usually has a lightning rod, carrying charms against the effects of thunderstorms. Sherbro Island. Probably Yoni, Sitia Chiefdom.
House-building was the work of women and men. Men built the framework of a house, or other structure, and put a thatch roof of palm leaves on it. Women plastered and finished the wall surfaces. Hall wrote about this process:

Men erect the framework of the houses and put on the thatch. The skeleton of the walls is formed by crosspieces tied to numerous uprights. No nails or pegs are used in the construction. At all junctions of cross-pieces and uprights a lashing of withes is employed. The daubing of the walls with coarse clay and the finishing of the surface with a wash made from clay of the same or a different colour is done by the women. In places where clay is not obtainable, as it is not in a great part of the interior of Sherbro Island, walls are of coarse matting. This is made by the men and is also used for ceilings. The women make the finer mats which are used to cover the earth floor and the beds.

Houses were usually round or rectangular with a veranda. According to Hall, a typical dwelling had three rooms--one on each side of the third. The latter was narrow and hall-like, and had a door at each end.

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