This round mud hut is one of the most common traditional huts found in Africa among the Bantu people (400 different ethnic groups who share a similar language). The hut is built of a round mud base, with a conical roof of local twigs and grasses. The Bantu people have been building such huts for thousands of years, living in them, and leading agrarian lifestyles.
Here in the Gardens:
This hut was inspired by those used by the Bantu people, and built by two of the Gardens’ gardening staff, with the help of local children. One of the gardeners is of Ethiopian descent and built the roof using his family’s traditional techniques. The base is built of Ailanthus branches (an invasive tree growing around the Gardens), local soil from the Gardens, sand, and straw. The roof is built of bushy breadgrass (Hypharrhenia hirsta) – a grain which can also be found in the Gardens.